WMA Resolution on the Abuse of Psychiatry


Adopted by the 53rd WMA General Assembly, Washington, DC, USA, October 2002 and
revised by the WMA General Assembly, Bangkok 2012

The World Medical Association (WMA) notes with concern evidence from a number of countries that political dissidents, practitioners of various religions and social activists have been detained in psychiatric institutions and subjected to unnecessary psychiatric treatment as a punishment and not to treat a substantiated psychiatric illness.

The WMA:

  • Declares that such detention and unwarranted treatment is abusive, unethical and unacceptable;
  • Calls on physicians and psychiatrists to resist involvement in these abusive practices;
  • Calls on member NMAs to support their physician members who resist involvement in these abuses, and
  • Calls on governments to stop abusing medicine and psychiatry in this manner, and on non-governmental organizations and the World Health Organization to work to end these abuses; and
  • Calls on governments to uphold the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which states that "all persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law."