Doctors need better training to recognise and report torture

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 09 September 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d5766
  1. Sophie Arie
  1. 1London

Doctors need better training on exactly what constitutes torture and support to blow the whistle when they witness it, says a report from Medact, the UK based health charity, which found that the medical profession is participating in torture.

The report, which considers incidents of medical complicity in torture in five different countries (UK, US, Italy, Sri Lanka, and Israel) shows widespread ignorance and flouting of international conventions and offers recommendations for action that national and international bodies should take.

“I hope that people will begin to discuss the whole issue, the issue in the round because too often it’s just ‘oh, he needs to be struck off.’ The climate of impunity that may have been created, lack of support that may be given, really need to be discussed,” said Marion Birch, director of Medact.

The report coincided with the report in the UK of the inquiry into the death …

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