Physicians and other qualified health professionals have an important role to play in the prevention of torture, in particular as members of detention monitoring teams.
Only a physician can fully assess all aspects of a place of detention that impact upon health, discuss specific health issues with detainees and with the authorities, assess the health services in the place of detention and the care being provided, and crucially, provide essential medical expertise in the prevention of torture and ill-treatment.
The medical perspective should not be limited to visits. A physician, or other health professional, can provide an invaluable contribution to a dialogue with relevant authorities (prison health services, Ministry of Health, etc.). A medical perspective is vital in all reflections on preventing torture and improving the system and conditions of detention, including observations on legislative aspects.