WMA Recommendation on the Development of a Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism to Permit Audit of Adherence of States to the Declaration of Tokyo

Adopted by the 62nd WMA General Assembly, Montevideo, Uruguay, October 2011

The WMA recommends that

  1. Where physicians are working in situations of dual loyalties, support must be offered to ensure they are not put in positions that might lead to violations of fundamental professional ethics, whether by active breaches of medical ethics or omission of ethical conduct, and/or of human rights, as laid out in the Declaration of Tokyo.
  2. National Medical Associations (NMA's) should offer support for physicians in difficult situations, including, as feasible and without endangering either patients or doctors, helping individuals to report violations of patients' health rights and physicians' professional ethics in custodial settings. 
  3. The WMA should review the evidence available, in cases brought to it by its members, of the violation of human rights codes by states and/or the forcing of physicians to violate the Declaration of Tokyo, and refer as appropriate such cases to the relevant national and international authorities.
  4. The WMA should contact member associations and encourage them to investigate accusations of physician involvement in torture and similar abuses of human rights reported to it from reputable sources, and to report back in particular on whether physicians are at risk and in need of support.  The WMA should provide support to the NMAs and their members to resist such violations, and as far as realistically possible, stand firm in their ethical convictions.
  5. The WMA shall encourage and support NMAs in their calls for investigations by the relevant special rapporteur (or other individual or organization) when NMAs and their members raise valid concerns.