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J Am Dent Assoc. 2008 Dec;139(12):1667-73.

Preventing dentists' involvement in torture: the developmental history of a new international declaration.

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International Dental Ethics and Law Society, Toronto.



For more than half a century, the risk of physicians participating in torture has received thoughtful attention in the field of medicine, and a number of international organizations have issued declarations decrying such involvement. Despite publications that provide evidence of dentists' having participated in torture as well, until recently the dental profession was quiescent on the subject.


The authors describe the historical background for a new declaration against dentists' participation in torture developed by the International Dental Ethics and Law Society and the Fédération Dentaire Internationale (FDI) World Dental Federation. They review various levels of involvement by dentists in torture and related activities in reference to existing World Medical Association declarations. Finally, they outline the process of drafting the new dental declaration, which was adopted by the FDI in October 2007.


The authors provide insight and guidance to clinicians who diligently serve their patients, unaware that they may face military or other pressures to participate in torture.

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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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