During ongoing nationwide protests in Iran, many Iranians wounded by security forces are facing a heart-wrenching situation: avoiding treatment in increasingly unsafe hospitals for fear of being detained, tortured, prosecuted, or even killed. In this perilous environment, brave medics like Dr Ayda Rostami stepped forward to provide care to the injured, despite the grave risks they face.
At age 36, Dr Rostami was among the dedicated medics who fearlessly tended to protesters in Ekbatan and other western neighborhoods of Tehran. Her commitment to healing the wounded during these turbulent times demonstrated her unwavering dedication to her profession and her people. However, Dr Rostami’s selfless efforts took a tragic turn when she disappeared without a trace.
After her body was found, suspicions arose when the medical examiner refused to disclose the true cause of her death, leading her family to believe that she was intentionally harmed.
The brutality and injustice of Dr Rostami’s tragic fate further highlight the risks that medical professionals and protesters face in their pursuit of justice and healing during times of civil unrest. Despite the danger, Dr Rostami and others like her chose to put their lives on the line to care for the injured, embodying the true spirit of humanitarianism and courage.
In honor of her birthday, 16 July 1986, we remember Dr Ayda Rostami as we remember other health care professionals who lost their lives and those who are detained without any legitimate reason. Dr Rostami’s experience is a reminder that even in the face of adversity, compassion and dedication to one’s principles can bring about profound change and inspire others to follow in one’s footsteps.
As we pay tribute to Dr Rostami’s life, let us also renew our commitment to supporting the brave medics and protesters on the front lines, and advocating for a world where the pursuit of justice and healing is not met with violence and oppression.
Indeed, Dr Rostami was not just a physician; she was a symbol of hope, courage, and compassion. Her untimely passing leaves a void in the hearts of those she touched, and the nation mourns the loss of yet another brave soul standing for what is right. May her memory continue to inspire us to strive for a world where the pursuit of justice and humanitarian efforts are met with understanding, empathy, and unwavering support.
—Katayoun Rahnavardi, MD
Watch a message (on YouTube) from Armin Rostami, Dr Ayda Rostami’s brother, inviting the medical community worldwide to support people in need.
This post has not been peer reviewed by the BCMJ Editorial Board.
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