Data Ethics - Medical Facilities Under Fire

Data Ethics - Medical Facilities Under Fire

Sat Jul 01 2017
An investigation about attacking Syrian hospitals

The authors have strived to incorporate a "Do No Harm" ethical framework into its processes. Due to the repeated targeting of hospitals, medical facilities, and medical personnel since 2012 particularly by Syrian and Russian forces, additional precautions and ethical issues were raised.

As the Syrian Archive, it is important to be transparent in our findings and methodologies. We believe that visual documentation of human rights violations that is transparent, detailed, and reliable are critical towards providing accountability and can positively contribute to post-conflict reconstruction and stability. Such content can humanise victims, reduce the space for dispute over numbers killed, help societies understand the true human costs of war, and support truth and reconciliation efforts.

In order to prove that digital content has been verified, geolocation is needed. In the past the Syrian Archive has verified and published the locations of particular human rights violations; due to repeated targeting of hospitals and medical facilities, it was decided that publicly publishing the exact locations of facilities, even for those in longer in use, could potentially pose additional risks towards those working in such environments.

For this reason, two versions of this report have been written: a public version which provides summary findings, and a private version which includes additional information, such as coordinates, provided to those groups given the mandate to investigate human rights violations in the Syrian conflict. The private report and its data will also be prepared to be given to the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism on Syria (IIIM), as well as to the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria.

Prior to publication, consent was acquired with those interviewed (e.g. medical workers, facility managers, and Civil Defense volunteers) regarding the public sharing of information regarding attacks.