‘Doctors against torture - supporting forensic health professionals across the world’
A major conference is being held in London on Tuesday 20 January to bring together specialists on medical ethics, torture and its forensic documentation.
The unique one-day event - organised by Amnesty International UK, the British Medical Association and Freedom from Torture, with support from the British Medical Journal - will throw a spotlight on the ethical and practical challenges facing forensic physicians as they confront the global scourge of torture.
Forensic health professionals are often the first people to encounter detainees who have been tortured, and as such have a vital role in the detection and prevention of torture and other human rights abuses. However, as this conference will show, in some cases health professionals come under pressure to acquiesce in abusive practices - throwing up numerous ethical dilemmas.
The recent release of the US Senate Intelligence Committee’s report into CIA torture revealed that doctors and other health professionals had played a role in administering, supervising and inventing this abuse, a clear abrogation of their duty to “do no harm”.
This conference will explore these issues, and will - among others - feature contributions from:
Angela Burnett, Freedom from Torture Lead Doctor
Dr John Chisholm CBE, Chair BMA medical ethics committee
Dr Juliet Cohen, Head of Doctors, Freedom From Torture
Kolbassia Haoussou, Survivors Speak Out Co-Founder and Coordinator
Professor Paul Hunt, University of Essex School of Law
Dr Abdelkrim El Manouzi, Director of Association Medicale de Rehabilitation des Victimes de la Torture (Morocco)
Dr Rachael Pickering, Co-chair BMA forensic medicine committee
Sirine Rached, Amnesty International Morocco and Western Sahara Researcher
Felicitas Treue, Colectivo Contra la Tortura y la Impunidad (Mexico)
The event is seeking to strengthen the role of health professionals in the identification, recording and reporting of torture at a time when torture has been described by Amnesty as being “rife” around the world.
Further details of the event are here