New BMA book highlights human rights abuses
- By: Linda Beecham
The BMA has criticised the hardening attitude to asylum seekers in Britain in its new handbook on human rights for doctors.
In The Medical Profession and Human Rights: Handbook for a Changing Agenda the association criticises the way that the dispersal system has been managed, arguing this cuts asylum seekers off from support and advice from existing refugee groups. Many primary care doctors are struggling to cope with vulnerable people who arrive without warning, planning, or language support, it says. And they are confronted with people claiming to have suffered torture, rape, or severe physical and psychological trauma.
“Human rights are a live issue for doctors in the United Kingdom as well as for our colleagues working in difficult or oppressive circumstances overseas,” said Dr Vivienne Nathanson, head of policy and research at the BMA.
Some of the problems faced by British doctors outlined in the book have already been