Physicians in Distress

Supporting physicians and patients in danger


In recent years, there has been a worrying trend of physicians being tortured and/or persecuted by dictatorial regimes or terrorist groups. Similarly, access to health care by detainees in need are sometimes obstructed deliberately by detention authorities in such a way that it amounts to a form of degrading treatment or torture.

Increasingly, during wars and armed conflicts, hospitals and other medical facilities are attacked and misused. Patients and medical personnel are killed or wounded.

The WMA condemns without reservation these abuses, that constitute a flagrant violation of international humanitarian and human rights law, and works with other health, humanitarian and human rights organisations creating alliances to combine strengths and to advocate for the highest possible standards of health for all people. Since 2012, the WMA is a member of the Health Care in Danger Project (HCiD) led by the ICRC.