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August 7, 1996

Physician Complicity in Misrepresentation and Omission of Evidence of Torture in Postdetention Medical Examinations in Turkey

Author Affiliations

From the Western Regional Office of Physicians for Human Rights, San Francisco, Calif (Dr lacopino); and the International Forensic Program, Physicians for Human Rights, Chicago, III (Dr Kirschner). Ms Heisler is a medical student at Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass, and Mr Pishevar is a student at the University of California, Berkeley.

JAMA. 1996;276(5):396-402. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540050056024

Between June 1994 and October 1995, representatives of Physicians for Human Rights studied the problem of physician complicity in torture (ie, misrepresentation and omission of medical evidence in postdetention examinations of detainees) in Turkey. The research consisted of a survey of forensic documentation of torture, interviews with individual physicians who examine detainees, analyses of official medical reports of detainees, and interviews with survivors of torture. Results from the survey, interviews, and medical report analyses provide evidence that torture of political and criminal detainees continues to occur in Turkey and that Turkish physicians are coerced to ignore, misrepresent, and omit evidence of torture in their examinations of detainees to certify that there are no physical signs of torture.

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