Emergency care for all, even the NY bomber

Civilised societies must define themselves by how they treat their enemies, particularly under the pressure that comes with ‘terrorism’

Image: Wikipedia

If you saw an injured man in the street, whether he was a terrorist, criminal or normal citizen, would you call for help and give him medical care? It is part of a civilised society to give medical treatment to its citizens, even if they’re perceived as terrorists.
However, it is this very question that’s been asked in America after the New York bombing suspect (he hasn’t been convicted of anything as yet) was recently allowed medical care after a shootout with the police. Some people think it’s a waste of taxpayers’ money to spend it on caring for enemies, but it’s a fundamental basis of civil society that medical management be provided after such an incident.

Under the the Geneva Convention, Prisoners of War are given the same guarantee of treatment as soldiers in war, but are guarded and continue to be detained once they recover.

Through the Geneva Convention, it means if you are the enemy, you are still given surgeries and medicine to cure the injuries inflicted by the opposite side in the war. Therefore, under international law, there is a legal basis for his receiving medical care for his injuries.

Moreover, he’s a U.S. citizen, so that should be enough to justify him for the same level of care that any other American would have whether Black or White, terrorist or U.S. soldier. However, since he was perceived as a terrorist through the lens of the war on terror and ISIS in the U.S. it muddied these justifications as some Americans would rather have seen him die than live. To those of the Trumpian view, he is an Islamic terrorist and enemy of the state, more than a US citizen.

Furthermore, criminals get both medical and physical healthcare when they commit a crime. It has happened in many cases, when a mentally ill criminal needed to stay in a mental hospital under police supervision.

It occurs, too, in many other cases of criminality such as gang wars in London, in which both sets of gangs receive care provided by the NHS. Therefore, why shouldn’t a terrorist get medical treatment when he is still just a criminal under the law, whose crimes have been enlarged by politics and media attention?

Some right-wingers and Trump supporters thought that it was a waste of taxpayers’ money to give care to Ahmad Khan Rahami, the terrorist suspect of the bombings, but by curing his injuries the families of the victims of the attack can seek justice through the U.S. legal and court system, which is more humane than just letting him die of his injuries at the scene.

The New York bomber should definitely have been issued medical care at the scene as is allowed under international law. Furthermore, he is a U.S. citizen so he is equal to every other American in the same situation, such as the policemen at the scene.
Lastly, criminals get the medical attention they need, and as he is just a criminal, he should be allowed medical care. It matters little what crime he had committed from robbery through to murder, and through that, to terrorism.

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