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Human rights

Dadaab Refugee Camp in Somalia

Human rights and medical practice are rooted in fundamental principles including respect, dignity, fairness and equality.

The BMA has always advocated the highest standards of human rights in healthcare, both for clinicians and patients.

BMA procedures for human rights interventions, drawn up with advice from Amnesty International and the International Committee of the Red Cross, explains the BMA's criteria for intervening in alleged abuses of human rights.

Read our procedures for human rights interventions

Most recently, we have spoken out against:


Get involved

All doctors can support the protection of human rights in healthcare and here are a few useful ideas:

See how clinicians can support human rights with Amnesty International

Contact your local MP about specific cases

Visit the World Medical Association if you work in prisons

Contact us for more information


BMA action on human rights

Find out more about the instances in which the BMA has been speaking up for human rights:

  • Doctors as victims

    Egypt: Canadian doctor begins hunger strike in custody

    Sudan: Death penalty for pregnant doctor

    Syria: Doctors detained in custody

    United States: Medical involvement in force-feeding at Guantánamo

    Vietnam: Health Ministry sources drugs for lethal injections

    Read more


  • Human rights act

    The BMA has written to the Prime Minister ahead of Human Rights Day calling on the government to abandon their plans to scrap the Human Rights Act.

    We believe that the rights enshrined in the Human Rights Act are fundamental to the primary role of doctors in advocating and caring for patients.

    Read Mark Porter's response


  • Medical impartiality

    Afghanistan: Coalition bombing of MSF hospital

    Bahrain: Breaches of medical neutrality

    Gaza: Shelling of medical facilities

    Turkey: Breaches of medical neutrality

    Read more


  • Patients as victims

    France: Refugees denied basic aid supplies

    Uganda: Anti-homosexuality law

    Read more