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Security

The security of the individual who may complain of or show signs of ill-treatment is closely related to the issues of consent and confidentiality described above. In examining or treating these individuals, the health professional must keep in mind the security of both the patient and him or herself. Often, the patient may have the impression that the health professional can provide an element of physical protection, and even prevent further arrest or ill-treatment. This sense of protection may be even more commonplace when health professionals visit the individual while they are still detained (particularly if it is a visit by an international team) since it is assumed that the fact of having access to the place of detention invests them with greater powers.

The security of the individual extends to how any information collected is used or to whom it is divulged. Clearly the release of any information is governed by the issues of consent and of confidentiality since identifiable information may itself lead to recriminations for the individual, or their family, or indeed the health personnel. Health professionals thus have a duty to ensure that individuals are aware of the limits of their ability to protect them, and must ensure that no information is released or passed on that may put interviewees at risk. All documentation must be stored safely.