Home US UCLA medical residents say at a conference that it is wrong to “stigmatize” people who burn themselves to death to protest Gaza, even though doctors are prohibited from promoting self-harm.

UCLA medical residents say at a conference that it is wrong to “stigmatize” people who burn themselves to death to protest Gaza, even though doctors are prohibited from promoting self-harm.

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Dr. Ragda Izar

Two doctors from the UCLA psychiatry department have given a lecture in which they went against medical norms by suggesting that self-immolation, the act of setting oneself on fire, should not be stigmatized, even though it usually kills the person. involved.

Drs. Ragda Izar and Afaf Moustafa, both UCLA psychiatry residents, held a discussion titled ‘Depathologizing resistance’ and saw the pair describe the disturbing and violent act as a form of ‘revolutionary suicide’.

The pair made specific reference to the case of Aaron Bushnell, a US serviceman who set himself on fire in protest against US support for Israel or, as doctors described the country, “indigenous Palestine.”

The duo argued that Bushnell’s actions, while stemming from mental anguish, could also be seen as a rational response to what they described as Israel’s “genocide” in Palestine.

Both suggested that Bushnell could be considered a “martyr” and that he was a man in full control of his mental faculties who was responding rationally to the conflict some 6,000 miles away.

Dr. Afaf Moustafa

Dr. Ragda Izar, left, and Dr. Afaf Moustafa, both psychiatry residents at UCLA, argued that the act of self-immolation is a form of “revolutionary suicide,” but such views are contrary to established medical standards that They warn against promoting self-immolation. -to damage

Izar and Moustafa questioned whether Bushnell’s anguish made his actions less valid, highlighting the emotional impact of witnessing violence and carnage in conflict zones like Gaza.

‘Yes, I had a lot of anguish,’ Izar said in audio recordings of the talk. ‘But does that mean the actions she took are less valid? Isn’t it normal to feel distressed when seeing this level of carnage?

But the couple’s twisted logic is based on established medical standards and practices that warn against glorifying or romanticizing self-harm, regardless of the cause.

American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryBoth mental health bodies strongly advise against giving honor or admiration to suicide victims, as this can potentially encourage others to self-harm.

The opinions of Drs Izar and Moustafa, both practicing psychiatrists, suggest that self-immolation is a reasonable response on the part of someone who wants to protest.

His extreme views have been attributed to the rise of so-called “doctor activists” within medical organizations, reports the Washington Free Beacon.

UCLA speakers argue that the stigma against self-immolation serves the interests of power structures and perpetuates colonialism, homophobia, and white supremacy.

They maintain that psychiatry pathologizes legitimate acts of protest against social injustices, framing them as signs of psychiatric dysfunction.

This opinion goes directly against widely accepted orientation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which warns against glorifying suicide victims.

In February, Aaron Bushnell stated that

In February, Aaron Bushnell declared that he would “no longer be complicit in genocide,” as he set himself on fire and livestreamed the horrific scene. He later died from his burns.

“It is clear that the presenters violated those guidelines,” said psychologist Elliot Kaminetzky. Free beacon. ‘The stigma against self-immolation is one of the reasons why Western countries see so little about it. This is a good thing.

“For mental health professionals to encourage destigmatization is reckless and could lead to an increase in the number of people protesting in this tragic and terribly painful way.”

Yale psychiatrist Sally Satel believed the talk was unlikely to provoke copycats, but felt the practice should not be destigmatized.

“The more a culture reveres that type of behavior as honorable, the more likely we are to see additional examples,” Satel said.

Hamas carried out a deadly terrorist attack in several locations in southern Israel on October 7, killing more than 1,200 people and taking more than 200 hostages.

The attack sparked an Israeli response that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised would “echo for generations.”

Pro-Hamas statements have not been uncommon at universities across the country.

At some rallies, speakers openly praised Hamas for the attack with chants of “from the river to the sea,” something that is frequently heard. The slogan calls for Israel to be eliminated.

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