Torture and other forms of abuse in health-care settings

March 26, 2013

Topics: ,

The latest annual report of the Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan Mendez, to the Human Rights Council focuses on torture and other forms of crual, inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment in health-care settings. 

Official summary

The present report focuses on certain forms of abuses in health-care settings that may cross threshold of mistreatment that is tantamount to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. It identifies the policies that promote these practices and existing protection gaps. By illustrating some of these abusive practices in health-care settings, the report sheds light on often undetected forms of abusive practices that occur under the auspices of health-care policies, and emphasizes how certain treatments run afoul of the prohibition on torture and ill-treatment.

It identifies the scope of State’s obligations to regulate, control and supervise health-care practices with a view to preventing mistreatment under any pretext. The Special Rapporteur examines a number of the abusive practices commonly reported in health-care settings and describes how the torture and ill-treatment framework applies in this context . The examples of torture and ill-treatment in health settings discussed likely represent a small fraction of this global problem.

Health care can be form of torture in certain cases, says UN Human rights expert (web article)

Download the report (PDF)