Dual Loyalty | Medical Complicity Through Coercion

Sometimes medical professionals are coerced, including under threat of violence to themselves or their families, into performing unethical, medically unnecessary procedures or withholding medical diagnoses.

In 2013, we called out Sudan after government doctors there amputated a man’s hand and foot under court order as punishment for a robbery. In 2003, we revealed that Iraqi doctors were forced to cut off ears, falsify reports on torture and participate in other human rights abuses during Saddam Hussein’s regime – and that those who refused were imprisoned or tortured.

In the mid-1990s, PHR investigated physician complicity in concealing torture in Türkiye. We found that Turkish physicians were coerced to ignore, misrepresent, and omit evidence of torture in their examinations of detainees in order to be able to certify that there were no physical signs of torture.

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