Why is this awesome, you ask? Because the publication actually explores many issues impacting multiple marginalized groups who face torture, abuse, and discrimination in healthcare, including in the areas of reproductive health, healthcare for trans* and queer people, access to healthcare for racial and ethnic minorities, and healthcare, treatment, and services for people with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities. More importantly, many of the authors offer specific recommendations for providers and policymakers to address existing issues and prevent future abuses.
Support from kickass activists Shain Neumeier and Ari Ne'eman went a long way in helping me with the document, too. Also the world is better because Tina Minkowitz, International Representative of the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry whose article is also published here, lives in it.
I hope everyone who would like to has a chance to read this groundbreaking report, and shares it widely! Comments for my article are also more than welcome.
(All of the chapters in this publication, needless to say, carry trigger warnings for often graphic descriptions of abusive situations and practices, often spurred by racism, sexism, queerphobia, transphobia, and ableism, among other factors.)
Image description: A screengrab of the cover of the publication, with the title Torture in Healthcare Settings: Reflections on the Special Rapporteur on Torture's 2013 Thematic Report on a blue background at the top, a black and white photograph of a patient lying on a bed with linens in an institutional room with a window and heater in the middle, and then at the bottom against teal backgrounds in two different shades, the logos for the American University Washington College of Law and then the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law: Anti-Torture Initiative.
The ATI's blurb is here:
The Anti-Torture Initiative’s first publication brings together contributions by more than thirty international experts in response to Special Rapporteur Juan E Méndez’s provocative 2013 thematic report on torture and other abusive practices in healthcare settings. The articles featured in this unique volume reflect and expand upon key aspects of the Special Rapporteur’s report as well as on implementation of recommendations contained therein. Each piece provides novel insights into essential topics and pressing issues at the forefront of the intersecting legal, medical, and policy fields. The questions raised by the Special Rapporteur’s report, and the array of innovative perspectives offered in response by each contributing author, illustrate a profound commitment to tackling the challenges that continue to arise in promoting and protecting the human rights of persons in diverse healthcare settings globally.
The volume features an introduction by the Special Rapporteur on Torture, as well as articles by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, the Chairman of the UN Committee against Torture, as well as renowned academics, legal, medical, and policy experts, and human rights advocates.
The compilation explores some of the following topics:
- Interpretative and guiding principles and the evolution and application of lack of legal capacity as a doorway for torture and other ill-treatment
- Emerging recognition of different forms of abuses in health-care settings as torture and other ill-treatment, including compulsory detention for medical conditions; Denial of pain relief
- The treatment of persons with psycho-social disabilities or intellectual disabilities globally
- Special protection of minority and marginalized groups and individuals as a critical component of the obligation to prevent torture and other ill-treatment;
- Reproductive rights violations as torture and ill treatment
- The relationship and interplay between the Convention against Torture, the international prohibition against torture, and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
- Recognition, enforcement and accountability for various abusive practices in health-care settings and the need to obtain redress and fair and adequate compensation, including the means for as full rehabilitation as possible.
SO. If I have successfully managed to pique your curiosity about the new report, I've copied the full table of contents below to better explain the various chapters.
Torture in Healthcare Settings: Reflections on the Special Rapporteur on Torture's 2013 Thematic Report
TABLE OF CONTENTS
vii - Acknowledgements
ix - About the Center for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law and the Anti-Torture Initiative
xi - About the Mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture
xiii - Foreword (Hadar Harris)
xv - Introduction (Juan E. Méndez)
1 - I. The Prohibition of Torture and the Right to Health: An Overview
3 - A Contribution by the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health: Right to Health and Freedom from Torture and Ill-Treatment in Health Care Settings (Anand Grover & Jamshid Gaziyev)
19 - The Problem of Torture in Health Care (Tamar Ezer, Jonathan Cohen, Ryan Quinn)
43 - The U.N. Committee Against Torture and the Eradication of Torture in Health Care Settings (Claudio Grossman)
49 - II. Abusive Practices in Health Care Settings and International Human Rights Law: Reflections
51 - Torture or Ill-Treatment in Reproductive Health Care: A Form of Gender Discrimination (Luisa Cabal & Amanda McRae)
65 - Poor Access to Comprehensive Prenatal Care, Including Opiate Substitution Treatment: A Form of Ill-Treatment for Women with Drug Dependence During Pregnancy (Mikhail Golichenko & Sandra Ka Hon Chu)
73 - Consent Signed with Invisible Ink: Sterilization of Trans* People and Legal Gender Recognition (Micah Grzywnowicz)
83 - When Healing and Comforting Hands Turn Hostile and Harmful: Homophobia and Transphobia in Health Care Centers (Rafael Mazin)
91 - Medical Treatment of People with Intersex Conditions as Torture and Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (Anne Tamar-Mattis)
105 - Torturous “Treatment?” Assessing Government and Donor Responsibilities for Abuses in Drug Detention Centers from a Human Rights Perspective (Rebecca Schleifer & Richard Elliott)
123 - Privatizing Cruelty—Torture, Inhumane and Degrading Treatment in Non-Governmental Drug Rehabilitation Centers (Roxanne Saucier & Daniel Wolfe)
133 - Denial of Pain Treatment and the Prohibition Against Torture and Ill-Treatment (Diederik Lohman & Tamar Ezer)
141 - Joint Statement from the American Psychiatric Association and the World Psychiatric Association in Response to the Report of the Special Rapporteur
151 - Response by the Special Rapporteur to the Joint Statement by the American Psychiatric Association and the World Psychiatric Association
155 - An International Comparison of Mechanisms in Mental Health Monitoring (Judy Laing & Rachel Murray)
169 - Implementing a Paradigm Shift: Implementing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the Context of Mental Disability Law (Peter Bartlett)
181 - Compliance is Unreasonable: The Human Rights Implications of Compliance-Based Behavioral Interventions under the Convention Against Torture and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Lydia Brown)
195 - “You That Hide Behind Walls:” The Relationship Between the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Convention Against Torture and the Treatment of Institutionalized Forensic Patients (Professor Michael L. Perlin & Meredith R. Schriver)
219 - On Torture, Ill-Treatment and People with Psychosocial and Intellectual Disabilities: Some Thoughts About the Report of the Special Rapporteur (Robert Dinerstein)
227 - A Response to the Report by Juan E. Méndez, Special Rapporteur on Torture, Dealing with Torture in the Context of Health Care, as it Pertains to Nonconsensual Psychiatric Interventions (Tina Minkowitz)
247 - The Role of Global Psychiatry in Advancing Human Rights (Oliver Lewis)
263 - Torture in Health Care Settings: Urgent Issues and Challenging Questions (Yuval Ginbar & James Welsh)
277 - Legal Capacity, Informed Consent, and Stigmatized Identities: Reform and Remedy Efforts in Central and Eastern Europe (Claude Cahn)
291 - Torture and Ill-Treatment Against African Persons with Psychosocial Disabilities In and Out of Health Care Settings (Shuaib Chalklen, Hisayo Katsui, Masa Anisic)
299 - Report of the Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment on Torture in Healthcare Settings (Juan E. Méndez)