WMA Council Resolution on Prohibition of Physician Participation in Torture


Adopted by the 182nd WMA Council Session, Tel Aviv, Israel, May 2009

WHEREAS:

Reports worldwide have alluded to deeply unsettling practices by health professionals, including direct participation in the infliction of ill-treatment, monitoring specific methods of ill-treatment, and participation in interrogation processes;

THEREFORE, the WMA

  1. Reaffirms its Declaration of Tokyo: Guidelines for Physicians Concerning Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in Relation to Detention and Imprisonment, which prohibits physicians from participating in, or even being present during, the practice of torture or other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading procedures, and urges National Medical Associations to inform physicians and governments of the Declaration and its contents.

  2. Reaffirms its Declaration of Hamburg: Support for Medical Doctors Refusing to Participate in or to Condone the use of Torture or other Forms of Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment.

  3. Reaffirms its Resolution: Responsibility of Physicians in the Denunciation of Acts of Torture or Cruel or Inhuman or Degrading Treatment of Which they are Aware.

  4. Urges national medical associations to speak out in support of this fundamental principle of medical ethics and to investigate any breach of these principles by association members of which they are aware.