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Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Juan E. Méndez (health care settings), 2013

United Nations UN Special Rapporteur on Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment International Human Rights Instruments and Resources Reports of UN Special Rapporteurs United Nations 1 February 2013 Report A/HRC/22/53 human rights

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Description

The present report focuses on certain forms of abuses in health-care settings that
may cross a threshold of mistreatment that is tantamount to torture or cruel, inhuman or
degrading treatment or punishment. It identifies the policies that promote these practices
and existing protection gaps.

By illustrating some of these abusive practices in health-care settings, the report
sheds light on often undetected forms of abusive practices that occur under the auspices of
health-care policies, and emphasizes how certain treatments run afoul of the prohibition on
torture and ill-treatment. It identifies the scope of State‟s obligations to regulate, control
and supervise health-care practices with a view to preventing mistreatment under any
pretext.

The Special Rapporteur examines a number of the abusive practices commonly
reported in health-care settings and describes how the torture and ill-treatment framework
applies in this context. The examples of torture and ill-treatment in health settings
discussed likely represent a small fraction of this global problem.

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