Defenders for Medical Impartiality

Defenders for Medical Impartiality (DMI) brings together human rights advocates and health professionals from the MENA region and across the globe to advocate for the codification and protection of the principle of medical impartiality and to document regional violations.

DMI’s main goals and objectives are to:

  • document violations of medical neutrality in conflict and violations of the right to health in civil unrest;
  • codify the principle of medical impartiality;
  • establish a UN Special Rapporteur on the right to medical impartiality.

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Definition of Medical Impartiality

Violations of medical impartiality occur when state or non-state actors interfere with access to or delivery of medical services in times of conflict and civil unrest or/and when medical personnel discriminate or refuse to provide medical care to anyone injured or sick during times of conflict and civil unrest.

The principle of medical impartiality is composed of two elements:

  • Noninterference

Noninterference means that state or non-state actors shall not interfere with people’s access to health care or with the delivery of medical supplies. This shall apply during times of armed conflict as well as times of civil unrest. Medical personnel, medical facilities, and medical transportation are protected by this principle.

  • Nondiscrimination

Nondiscrimination ensures the humane treatment of all civilians in need of medical care, and the nondiscriminatory treatment of those injured and sick. The element of nondiscrimination applies to all medical personnel.

For more information, please consult defendmedicalimpartiality.org.