Preventing dentists' involvement in torture: the developmental history of a new international declaration

Richard D Speers, Wolter G Brands, Emilio Nuzzolese, Denny Smith, Peter B F Swiss, Marcel van Woensel, Jos V M Welie*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Web of Science)


BACKGROUND: For more than half a century, the risk of physicians participating in torture has received thoughtful attention in the field of medicine, and a number of international organizations have issued declarations decrying such involvement. Despite publications that provide evidence of dentists' having participated in torture as well, until recently the dental profession was quiescent on the subject.

METHODS: The authors describe the historical background for a new declaration against dentists' participation in torture developed by the International Dental Ethics and Law Society and the Fédération Dentaire Internationale (FDI) World Dental Federation. They review various levels of involvement by dentists in torture and related activities in reference to existing World Medical Association declarations. Finally, they outline the process of drafting the new dental declaration, which was adopted by the FDI in October 2007.

CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: The authors provide insight and guidance to clinicians who diligently serve their patients, unaware that they may face military or other pressures to participate in torture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1667-73
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Dental Association
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • American Medical Association
  • Codes of Ethics/history
  • Ethics, Dental
  • History, 20th Century
  • Human Rights
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation
  • Professional Misconduct
  • Social Control, Formal
  • Social Control, Informal
  • Torture/history
  • United States

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