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May 23, 1986

Doctors and Torture

JAMA. 1986;255(20):2760. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03370200062028

To the Editor.—  Dr John Havard, secretary of the British Medical Association, has drawn attention to the need for national medical associations to support their individual members in combating what seems to be a global epidemic of torture.1 The Collegio Medico de Chile has recently had the courage to suspend two doctors for their involvement in torture. The Uruguayan Medical Association has withdrawn from the World Medical Association to protest its apparent lack of leadership in dealing with this appalling problem.As a physician who lives in America but travels to many countries, I would like to draw attention to the efforts of national medical associations (sometimes made at considerable personal risk to the officers of those associations) to deny doctors involved in torture the collective support of their profession. I hope the American Medical Association will take explicit action to support the Chilean and Uruguayan associations.