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The Declaration of Tokyo is a set of international guidelines for physicians concerning torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in relation to detention and imprisonment, which was adopted in October 1975 during the 29th General assembly of the World Medical Association, and later editorially updated by the WMA in France, May 2005 and 2006. It declares torture to be "contrary to the laws of humanity", and antithetical to the "higher purpose" of the physician, which is to "alleviate the distress of his or her fellow human being." The policy states that doctors should refuse to participate in, condone, or give permission for torture, degradation, or cruel treatment of prisoners or detainees. According to the policy, a prisoner who refuses to eat should not be fed artificially against his will, provided that he or she is judged to be rational.
It is the privilege of the physician to practise medicine in the service of humanity, to preserve and restore bodily and mental health without distinction as to persons, to comfort and to ease the suffering of his or her patients. The utmost respect for human life is to be maintained even under threat, and no use made of any medical knowledge contrary to the laws of humanity. For the purpose of this Declaration, torture is defined as the deliberate, systematic or wanton infliction of physical or mental suffering by one or more persons acting alone or on the orders of any authority, to force another person to yield information, to make a confession, or for any other reason.
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