Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
February 21, 2024

The Johns Hopkins Hospital has opened an investigation into Dr. Darren Klugman for posting violent anti-Palestinian tweets. Klugman is the Pediatric Cardiac Critical Care Director at the Johns Hopkins Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center and an Associate Professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 

The posts, published on Oct. 7 and 8 on social media platform X, previously Twitter, used hateful and racist language. In one post, Klugman commented “G-d willing” in response to a user’s concern about “large scale slaughter” in Palestine. In another, he wrote that “Israel has no peace partner w the Palestinians. Barbaric animals w no concern for life.” 

The posts gained public attention on Nov. 12, and the University and Hospital acknowledged the tweets on Nov. 16. Klugman has now been placed on leave while the tweets are investigated.

Two Hopkins physicians reported a culture of fear among doctors, staff and patients in the wake of the posts. They further expressed concern that a doctor possessing these hateful views could endanger Palestinian and Arab patients who receive care at Hopkins. 

Klugman’s hostile rhetoric is inconsistent with the University’s mission as an institution. As per the Statement of Principles on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the University aims to build an “inclusive intellectual and physical environment to ensure that all members of our community know with certainty that they belong at Johns Hopkins.”

As a physician, Klugman swore to follow the Hippocratic Oath — to “minimize suffering” and “improve the public health.” But, his tweets have showcased that his concern for the well-being of other people does not apply to all people. No doctor, least of all a pediatrician, should espouse this callous rhetoric.

While we acknowledge that the law may limit the release of information, we call for the greatest transparency possible during the investigation. If the University wants to live up to its word, it must assume its responsibility “as a leading research university to work to achieve diversity, equity, and inclusion” and hold itself accountable “through transparency, open communication, and an ongoing, unflinching assessment of met and unmet needs.”

The News-Letter believes that no one supporting hateful ideology against Palestinian people, or any people, should practice medicine. Regardless of our varying views on the Israel-Hamas war and the broader Israel-Palestine conflict, members of the Hopkins community should agree on this. We call on the institution to treat this matter with the gravity it necessitates and come to a just decision soon.

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