Washington—Wearing a turban and carrying
a fake passport, John McGill, MD, trekked hundreds of miles across rugged
mountains, intent on delivering care to war-weary Afghanistan. He hid from
a regime intent on killing him. He operated under the dull light of a spelunking
helmet. He pulled shrapnel from the bodies of children.
Saying good-bye to colleagues and abandoning her pediatric ward, Nicola
Johnson, MD, trekked hundreds of miles across rugged mountains, barred from
delivering care to war-weary Afghanistan. She fled a brutal regime and an
anticipated attack. She holed up in a cramped office in Pakistan. Now she
wonders which children, which friends, which colleagues will suffer the metallic
sting of shrapnel.
Vastag B. Afghanistan Aid Workers Struggle Through Threats. JAMA. 2001;286(19):2387-2389. doi:10.1001/jama.286.19.2387