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into our ethical code an article taken from the 1975 Declaration of Tokyo condemning torture; to support physicians in other in- stitutions working in defense of human rights; and to promote the discussion of ethical topics at conferences and in publications. Recently, the Medical Association of Chile asked the Chilean government to establish an ethical code for law enforcement officers. For the future, we see it necessary to abolish the participation of physicians in torture. We have said that our position is not to classify torturers as psychotics, but to see torturers as the result of a sick society. It is heartening to see the rebirth of ethical values and the search for what is the historical, honorable, and dignified tradition of our country. The Medical Association of Chill ~ believes it must continue the activities it has started and provide ~ Oral and material support to institutions fighting to abolish torture. We believe that the only true solution for our country is to return to democracy. Thank you very much. COMMENTS Helen Rodney Members and guests of the academy, ~ join Dr. Debreu and other members of the National Academy of Sciences in expressing admiration and respect for Dr. Gonzalez, whose activities, together with those of his colleagues in Chile, assure the world that protection of human rights still constitutes a Chilean ideal. The comments that ~ am going to make today were prepared by me in association with Dr. Elena Nightingale, a member of the Insti- tute of Medicine and a scholar in the subject of medical participation in uses of torture. Torture is defined by the World Medical Association as a deliber- ate, systematic infliction of physical or mental suffering on a person in order to induce a confession or to obtain information or for any other reason. It is not necessary to point out to this audience that torture is a violation of the ethical and religious codes of civilized nations. Yet, despite the recognition that this is an unacceptable relic of a primitive past, there are more than 60 countries in which torture is sanctioned or tolerated by the governments, themselves. To extract confessions or to obtain information about enemies of the state are reasons often given for using torture. Usually, indeed often, the motives are far more sinister: to intimidate the prisoners,
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27 to destroy their sense of persona] integrity, and to control political dissent. Many groups have investigated and spoken out against the prac- tice of torture. Amnesty International has issued numerous reports on torture. Our Department of State has a section on torture and cruel treatment or punishment in its annual Country Report to the U.S. Congress. The American Association for the Advancement of Science, under the editorship of Mr. Eric Stover and Dr. Nightingale, issued a report on torture, The Breaking of Bodies and Minds, and the United Nations has established a voluntary fund for victims of torture. In addition, in 1984 the General Assembly of the United Na- tions adopted one of the most detailed and important documents about torture: "The Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment." This document obliges states to make torture a punishable of- fense and to provide for the extradition of torturers and compensation for their victims. This convention was adopted by the United Na- tions by consensus; such consensus adoption by the United Nations indicates a long-standing acceptance in many cultures. Why should scientists and physicians, in particular, be concerned about torture? Because they are people who are committed to ap- plying science for the betterment of mankind and, in medicine, for healing and relieving pain and suffering. The fact that men, women, and even children are being neglected and tortured by their fellow man is, as Dr. Gonzalez has said, an outrage. Why are scientists and health professionals so often victims of torture? There are several reasons. One is because they are generally respected members of their communities; attacks on them make obvious the vulnerability of other individuals in the group. If a dissident who is a respected scientist or teacher can be tortured, his colleagues and students can also take heed and they, to say nothing of the departmental clerk, will be less inclined to become dissidents. Health workers, by the nature of their profession, are more likely to be seized for offenses against the state in countries in which violence and civil strife are common. Those offenses may include treating victuns of torture, documenting or reporting the incidence of alleged torture, and showing the authorities and private organiza- tions, such as human rights groups, the evidence concerning torture. Dr. Gonzalez has pointed out the participation of some physi- cians in torture. This is, of course, an aspect of participation that