The BMA is pleased that the General Assembly of the World Medical Association (WMA) has adopted the following resolution: ‘In light of the mounting body of evidence, including the report of 31 August 2022 from the OCHCR, of medical involvement in severe human rights violations against the Uyghur people and other minorities in China, the WMA asks the Chinese Medical Association to acknowledge the concerns set out in the report by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and comply with the 2020 WMA Resolution on human rights violations against Uyghur People in China.’
Dr Latifa Patel, BMA representative body chair and equality lead, said: “The BMA has long raised concerns about the Chinese state in its inhumane treatment of Uyghur people. We are pleased that our resolution to acknowledge and condemn actions which constitute fundamental abuses to human rights, has now been ratified by the General Assembly of the WMA, following it being accepted by the Council of the WMA, earlier this year. The BMA put forward this resolution to WMA’s Council in 2020 to call on its members to condemn actions which constitute fundamental abuses to human rights, including the acts of forced sterilisation against the Uyghur and other Turkic Muslim minorities in China.
“For doctors a core principle is the pledge to ‘first do no harm’, and it is therefore difficult to even comprehend reports that medicine is being used to commit serious crimes against humanity, it is truly the most gross and intolerable perversion of our profession.
“This acceptance by the General Assembly will now mean that the call for the Chinese Medical Association to acknowledge the United Nation’s report on serious human rights concerns will become official WMA policy. We hope that this ensures that all physicians - in the region - uphold the guidelines set out in the WMA Declaration of Tokyo and the WMA Resolution on the Responsibility of Physicians in the Documentation and Denunciation of Acts of Torture or Cruel or Inhuman or Degrading Treatment.”
Notes to editors
The BMA is a professional association and trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.