World Medical Association Condemns Reports of Ill Treatment by Physicians in Syria

(06.03.2012)  The WMA has expressed shock at media reports that physicians and other medical staff have been abusing and even torturing patients in Syria.

Although these video reports are unconfirmed, Dr. José Gomes do Amaral, President of the WMA, made a strongly worded statement:

‘Physicians around the world will be horrified at these reports that doctors have been ill treating and even torturing patients in Syria. The WMA has repeatedly reaffirmed its support for the Declaration of Tokyo which clearly sets out guidelines prohibiting physicians from participating in, or even being present during the practice of torture or other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading procedures.

‘We have continually expressed our support for doctors who refuse to participate or to condone such actions. Physicians, wherever they are, have a responsibility to denounce acts of torture or cruel or inhuman or degrading treatment of which they are aware. National medical associations also have a duty to speak out in support of this fundamental principle of medical ethics.

‘Where physicians have been shown to have breached their professional medical ethics, no matter what the circumstances, they must be held responsible and punished.’