Doctors have a common set of ethics embodied in such documents as the Hippocratic Oath and the Declaration of Geneva47• 48 which dedicate their skills to the best interest of their patient. They are morally bound not to participate in the torture or mistreatment of prisoners or patients. It is assumed by many that physicians will not use their professional skills to aid in the wilful or premeditated killing of fellow human beings. Unfortunately, in the real world, physicians can behave in the same debased manner as anybody else and there are many recorded instances of health professionals participating in abuses of basic human rights and dignity.49