Letters WMA and Iran

The WMA speaks out on Iran but not on Israel. Why not?

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b4635 (Published 10 November 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b4635

Re: Re: At stake is the reputation of international medical ethical codes as a system that works

The BMA has long been concerned about the situation in
Israel/Palestine and it recognizes that there have been accusations on
both sides of the conflict in relation to breaches of medical neutrality.

There have also been reports from Amnesty and Physicians for Human Rights
Israel concerning possible medical involvement in torture and aggressive
interrogation techniques. As a result of these concerns the BMA wrote
directly to the President of the Israel Medical Association (IMA)
requesting information about the accuracy of these reports and the nature
of the IMA’s response. The IMA made available to the BMA extensive
correspondence from the IMA to the Israeli defence forces raising concerns
about allegations and requesting appropriate responses. In addition the
BMA has successfully lobbied the WMA to ensure that it calls even-handedly
on all parties to the conflict to respect the highest standards of
professional ethics. The BMA has reiterated this message with the new WMA
leadership. The BMA stands by its long history of protecting and promoting
human rights in health, and it will continue to champion this work, both
nationally and internationally.

Competing interests:
Professor Vivienne Nathanson is Director of Professional Activities at the British Medical Association

Competing interests: No competing interests

21 January 2010
Professor Vivienne Nathanson
Director of Professional Activities
British Medical Association