March 2, 2022
The events in Ukraine and Eastern Europe are a tragedy for all of humanity.
The American Association for Thoracic Surgery is an international organization that has been dedicated for more than a century to excellence in patient care, leadership, research and innovation, education, and mentoring. AATS member surgeons in more than 41 countries work tirelessly to reduce human suffering, to extend quality of life, and to reduce the personal and societal costs of ill health and disease.
At this historic moment, we must speak out against the evil invasion by Russian military forces. As a leading medical society committed to some of the most noble values of humanity, we express our solidarity with the citizens of Ukraine, and especially solidarity with our Ukrainian surgeon colleagues. We recognize with respect the inspiring stories of physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals in Ukraine who are fighting valiantly to provide medical care, even as they and their fellow Ukrainians fight to defend their own liberty.
The AATS condemns violence as a means of advancing individual and national self-interests. We condemn tyranny. We condemn the disregard for human life and dignity that is currently playing out on the world stage. We strongly support all diplomatic efforts to achieve a swift end to the war, and the return of peace, security, and democracy.
By 2022, I am sure we all believed that we have worked together to make the world a better place, where we would never again witness events such as these. As President, speaking on behalf of the AATS, I hope for a swift cessation of hostilities and a restoration of respect for basic freedoms that are a fundamental right for every human being.
Shaf Keshavjee, MD
Toronto, Ontario, Canada