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~Wellesley College Presents Lecture, 'War Hospital:
A True Story of Surgery and Survival'

For immediate release:
October 23, 2003

Arlie Corday,

WELLESLEY, Mass. -- What's it like to be a nurse or doctor working under wartime conditions? On Wednesday, Nov. 5, from 12:30-2 pm in Pendleton East 239 at Wellesley College, physician and writer Sheri Fink will talk about her experiences in a lecture, "War Hospital: Surgery and Survival in Srebrenica."

Fink is the author of a new book, War Hospital, A True Story of Surgery and Survival, which details the work of doctors and nurses who worked under siege in war-time Srebrenica, Bosnia-Hercegovina. She has worked with the humanitarian aid organization International Medical Corps to provide relief to armed conflict and natural disaster victims. Her most recent medical mission was to Iraq.

In April 1992, a handful of young doctors, not one of them a surgeon, was trapped along with 50,000 men, women and children in the embattled enclave of Srebrenica, Bosnia-Hercegovina. There the physicians faced the most intense professional, ethical and personal predicaments of their lives. Drawing on extensive interviews, documents and recorded materials Fink collected over five years, War Hospital tells the harrowing – and ultimately enlightening – story of these physicians.

"The experiences Dr. Fink has mentioned in her book and has agreed to share with the Wellesley College community should remind all of us of the consequences of a war on medical and mental health, as well as on larger issues such as ethics and impartiality in wartime," said event organizer Seila Selimovic, a Wellesley College senior and a native of Bosnia-Hercegovina. "Dr. Fink's speech will remind us of the instability in Bosnia and will give an incentive to think about other war regions, such as Iraq, with different eyes."

Fink's book and lecture explore the applications of medicine in wartime, asking questions about the ethics of medicine in peace and in war, the meaning and helpfulness of humanitarian aid in view of desolate medical conditions and the impartiality of doctors.

Refreshments will be served at the lecture, which is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by campus groups including the Committee on Lectures and Cultural Events, Balkan Express, Amnesty International and the Hippocratic Society. For more information, contact



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