Egypt’s Popular Uprising and the Stakes of Medical Neutrality


Contributed date

August 4, 2018 - 3:11pm

Critical Commentary

Abstract: Amidst the recent political uprisings in the Arab region, physicians and other healthcare workers have found themselves in the crossfire. This paper focuses on Egypt’s doctors, paying special attention to how many have both appealed to and practiced medical neutrality as its own potent and contested political stance, particularly since the period of military rule following Mubarak’s removal from power. Our paper draws on interviews with physicians who served as volunteers in the field hospitals in the days of unrest and violence, and with others who played a major role in documenting protesters’ injuries, police brutality, and other forms of state violence against unarmed citizens. Based on interviews with doctors who belong to organizations such as “Tahrir Doctors” and “Doctors Without Rights,” our paper reveals how these doctors’ commitment to professional ethics put them at odds with the orders of military personnel, rendering their appeal to “medical neutrality” a weighty political act in and of itself.


Hamdy, Sherine F., and Soha Bayoumi. 2016. "Egypt's Popular Uprising and the Stakes of Medical Neutrality." Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry 40 (2): 223-41.

Group Audience

Cite as

Sherine Hamdy and Soha Bayoumi, "Egypt’s Popular Uprising and the Stakes of Medical Neutrality", contributed by James Adams, STS Infrastructures, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 4 August 2018, accessed 1 October 2023.’s-popular-uprising-and-stakes-medical-neutrality