The Oath: A Surgeon Under Fire

Khassan Baiev

Published by Pocket Books, 2004
ISBN 10: 0743430360 / ISBN 13: 9780743430364
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Synopsis: As the Russian-Chechen conflict moved into its bloodiest phase, Khassan Baiev was practising as a cosmetic surgeon moulding Moscow's super-rich. But, shocked by news from his homeland, his conscience forced him back to Chechnya. Once there, despite accusations of traitorship from Chechen terrorists and Russian oppressors alike, his allegiance to the Hippocratic Oath drove him to treat patients from both sides. He was shot at, imprisoned, bombed, tortured and beaten. Yet through it all he continued working, often under candlelight, without basic medical supplies, without anaesthesia and under fire. THE OATH is the haunting story of the courage one man found to value his principles above his own life.

From the Inside Flap: Told with immediacy and heart, The Oath is the story of a brave physician's dedication to saving lives in the Russia-Chechnya conflict.

In 1991, when the political conflict between Chechen insurgents and the Russian army began, Khassan Baiev was a wealthy plastic surgeon. But when Russia began to bomb his country, Baiev gave up safety and security and opened a small hospital in his hometown of Alkhan Kala. At times, the one-storey cement building was staffed by just six nurses and a handful of volunteers. Baiev was the sole physician.

Over the next six years, Baiev treated thousands of people under the most brutal conditions, using outdated tools and dwindling medical supplies, and with a constant threat of missiles overhead. A witness to the unspeakable horrors of war, Baiev treated anyone, Chechen or Russian, soldier or civilian. He became a marked man, hated by both sides in one of the world?s ugliest and least understood conflicts. After he treated a widely feared Chechen rebel leader, his home was looted and burned. A Chechen warlord stood him up against a wall and threatened to execute him for saving Russian soldiers.

Under threat from both sides, Baiev finally fled Chechnya early in 2000. Still tortured by the memories of his past, he has taken refuge in the USA. Throughout his whole ordeal, Khassan has maintained his commitment to medicine and medical ethics. When asked why he didn?t flee his country like so many others had done, he said, ?I could have left before the war. But where would I have gone? Where was I more needed than Chechnya??

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Title: The Oath: A Surgeon Under Fire
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication Date: 2004
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Used: Good

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