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Comment & Response
March 2016

The Role of Physicians in Asylum Evaluation: Documenting Torture and Trauma

Author Affiliations
  • 1The Colorado Health Foundation, Presbyterian St Luke’s Medical Center, Denver
  • 2Department of Dermatology, University of Pennyslvania, Philadelphia
JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(3):417. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.0053

To the Editor The last several years have seen record-breaking numbers of displaced persons. An average of 42 500 people each day were forced from their homes as a result of conflict and persecution in 2014, a number 4 times higher than in 2010. Notable driving forces include Syria’s civil war, the Taliban in Afghanistan, and forced labor in Eritrea.1 The United Nations’ Convention Against Torture2 obligates nations to not expel individuals to a country where there is significant reason to believe those persons would be tortured or persecuted. The United States grants asylum to individuals that prove a well-founded fear of persecution in court.3

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