Medical Investigation and Documentation of Torture: A Handbook for Health Professionals
University of Essex / FCO
122 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2009 Last revised: 14 Apr 2009
Date Written: March 22, 2009
This Handbook is primarily aimed at raising awareness of relevant medical ethical, legal and professional standards of the many health professionals who would wish to do the most conscientious job, with a view to helping victims of torture and contributing to efforts to eliminate the practice. The key task is to establish the most scientifically valid documentation concerning possible torture of individuals, consistent with the often difficult conditions under which the work sometimes has to be undertaken. It is inspired by The Istanbul Protocol, approved by United Nations bodies, which lays down the best professional standards for physicians working in the field. Yet it recognises that not all health professionals called on to do the work will have extensive experience in this field and it presents the material in a way that aims to be accessible to all these professionals. Guidance is given in the general skills of interviewing, as well as the medical examination and documentation. In addition to the relevant ethical and legal principles, the Handbook also points to sources of advice for those who wish to further their knowledge or gain support and advice on particular situations.
Keywords: human rights, medical ethics, torture, detention
JEL Classification: k33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation