'My country is a medical disaster area, and I cannot rest until I return. But I know I can't go home again - at least not yet - not while Russian troops and a few Chechen extremists are pursuing me. The Kremlin called me a terrorist doctor because I treated Chechen freedom fighters. The extremists called me a traitor because I treated wounded Russian soldiers. In truth, it was the civilians I treated most and they still need my help.' As the struggle for independence in his native Chechnya moved into its bloodiest phase, Dr Khassan Baiev was enjoying a life of affluence as a plastic surgeon in Moscow but he knew he had to go home. Horrified by the violence and destruction, Dr Baiev set to treat the appalling casualties with out-of-date equipment, often donating his own blood for operations. During one particularly gruesome period, he performed sixty-seven operations in forty-eight hours until his hands were too heavily blistered to continue. It is remarkable how anyone could perform intricate surgery under such conditions, but Baiev was driven by his allegiance to the Hippocratic Oath: a vow to serve anyone who needed help. The Oath placed him outside politics, but in the eyes of tÜber den Autor:
In 2000 Dr Baiev received the Human Rights Watch Monitor of the Year award for his work. Ruth Daniloff and Nicholas Daniloff, who have co-written THE OATH with Dr Baiev are accomplished journalists and experts on Russia. Nicholas Daniloff is also the author of two books on Russia - THE KREMLIN AND THE COSMOS and TWO LIVES:ONE RUSSIA.
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