International Council of Nurses; Torture, Death Penalty and Participation by Nurses in Executions (1998).
The International Council of Nurses (ICN)
supports the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights1.
Furthermore we declare :
ICN advocates that all levels of nursing
education curricula include the following: recognition of human rights
issues and violations, such as torture and death penalty; awareness of
the use of medical technology for executions; and recognition of the nurse’s
right to refuse participation in executions.
The ICN Code for Nurses 2 states that …the fundamental responsibility of the nurse is to promote health, prevent illness, to restore health and to alleviate suffering.
Violations of human rights are pervasive and scientific advances have brought about sophisticated forms of torture. Nurses are sometimes called upon to perform physical examinations before prisoners’ interrogation and torture, to attend torture sessions in order to provide care, and/or to treat the physical effects of torture.Efforts to regulate and ‘humanise’ the death penalty or even to ‘medicalise’ it have led to contradictory legal and ethical problems.
Adopted in 1998
Replaces previous ICN Positions “Nurses and Torture”, adopted 1989 and “Death penalty and participation by nurses in execution” adopted 1989.
Related ICN Positions:· Nurses and
human rights· The nurse's role in the care of detainees and
prisoners· Rights of children· Nuclear war
The International Council of Nurses is a
federation of more than 120 national nurses' associations representing
the millions of nurses worldwide. Operated by nurses for nurses, ICN is
the international voice of nursing and works to ensure quality care for
all and sound health policies globally.