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June 12, 1987

Dr Wendy Orr and the Health of Detainees in South Africa-Reply

JAMA. 1987;257(22):3067-3068. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03390220064014

In Reply.—  Dr Retief's letter commenting on our article demands a response. In the article, we reported on a South African prison physician, a Chilean surgeon, and a Soviet psychiatrist whose courageous actions have brought public attention to the problem of torture worldwide. The purpose of our article was to demonstrate the ways in which health professionals, particularly physicians, can be effective in preventing the torture and ill-treatment of prisoners and detainees.Dr Retief implies that there may be another side to the court case brought against the South African police by Dr Wendy Orr and her coapplicants in September 1985. Either Dr Retief is being disingenuous or, perhaps, is unfamiliar with the developments in the Orr case since March 1986. For another perspective, we direct the reader's attention to the letter that follows this one from Dr Orr's attorney, Mr Cheadle.Dr Retief's statement about the Orr case is