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Indications for Referral

Wherever possible, examinations to document torture for medico-legal reasons should be combined with an assessment for other needs, whether referral to specialist physicians, psychologists, physiotherapists or those who can offer social advice and support. Investigators should be aware of local rehabilitation and support services. The clinician should not hesitate to insist on any consultation and examination that he or she considers necessary in a medical evaluation. In the course of documenting medical evidence of torture and ill-treatment, physicians are not absolved of their ethical obligations. Those who appear to be in need of further medical or psychological care should be referred to the appropriate services.

NOTE: Online course available on “Caring for Torture Survivors” offered by the Boston Center for Refugee Health and Human Rights. See http://www.bcrhhr.org/pro/course/course_index.html [1]