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Doctors working in prison: human rights and ethical dilemmas

01-01-2010 Event

Online course. Many of those held in prisons around the world do not receive adequate medical care. To improve their access to quality health services, the ICRC has participated in a World Medical Association project to produce an internet-based course for doctors working in prisons.

Event Info

Where: Online course

When: 01.01.2010 - 31.12.2010

 The course,  Doctors working in prison: human rights and ethical dilemmas, was developed by the Norwegian Medical Association, with a syllabus produced by a number of experts in the field of prisoner health, including Hernan Reyes of the ICRC.  

The objectives of the course are to present relevant issues regarding the medical treatment of prisoners and to raise awareness of the role of the prison doctor in areas of conflicting interest between prisoners and the authorities. Such areas include hunger strikes, a patient's right to confidentiality and certifying prisoners for special punishment.  

 The course was officially launched in September 2004 in Geneva and contains 12 chapters on different themes of medicine within the prison environment. It is interactive and uses real-life scenarios and various exercises to assess the participants' knowledge.  

 The Norwegian Medical Association will grant a diploma to those successfully completing the course.  

The ICRC and the World Medical Association have always maintained a good working relationship. The ICRC has official observer status at WMA meetings and assemblies and has contributed to the drafting of WMA documents on many issues relating to medical ethics in the framework of detention.  


The course is accessible on the World Medical Association web site