Sign the Pledge Against Torture

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5/18/17
Given the importance of ethics and the protection of human rights in nursing practice, the American Nurses Association is urging RNs to join ANA President Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, and ANA Chief Executive Officer Marla J. Weston, PhD, RN, FAAN, in signing on to the Health Professionals' Pledge Against Torture.

Physicians for Human Rights launched a pledge May 18 for health professionals across the United States to stand together in their rejection of torture, voicing the consensus that torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment are absolutely prohibited in all circumstances. Already the list of signers includes Nobel laureates in medicine, former surgeons general, prison physicians, leaders of health professional organizations, and medical ethicists who pledge never to collude in torture under any circumstances, in keeping with the ethical codes of their professions.

By uniting in large numbers behind the pledge, nurses and other health care professionals send a strong message to policymakers, health professional associations and the American public that future attempts to enlist health professionals in the design, study or use of practices that result in severe physical or mental abuse will not be tolerated. The pledge also serves as a declaration of support for health professionals who resist orders to torture or inflict harm.

For more than a decade, PHR and its network of partners have led efforts advocating against torture, documented the devastating long-term health consequences of torture, and called attention to the complicity of some health professionals in the post-9/11 U.S. torture program.

“At a time when human rights are increasingly under threat, we’ve launched this pledge to marshal the powerful voices of health professionals across the United States and reaffirm their ethical duties to honor human dignity,” said PHR Executive Director Donna McKay.

ANA’s Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements is essential to nursing practice, and the national association has a long history of human rights advocacy. For example, ANA successfully advocated for the ethical right of a Navy nurse to refuse to force-feed detainees at Guantanamo Bay. In January, ANA released its Ethics and Human Rights Statement emphasizing that nursing “is committed to both the welfare of the sick, injured, and vulnerable in society and to social justice.” To read more visit, Health Professionals' Pledge Against Torture

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