United States of America
Practice Relating to Rule 110. Treatment and Care of the Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked
Section B. Distinction between the wounded and the sick
The US Field Manual (1956) states: “Only
urgent medical reasons will authorize priority in the order of treatment to be administered.”
The US Air Force Pamphlet (1976) states: “Priority in order of treatment is justified only
by urgent medical reasons.”
The US Naval Handbook (1995) states: “Priority in order of treatment may only
be justified by urgent medical considerations.”
The US Naval Handbook (2007) states:
Wounded and sick personnel falling into enemy hands must be treated humanely and cared for without adverse distinction along with the enemy’s own casualties. Priority in order of treatment may only be justified by urgent medical considerations.
In 1987, the Deputy Legal Adviser of the US Department of State affirmed: “We support the principle that when [the wounded, sick and shipwrecked] are given medical treatment, no distinction among them be based on any grounds other than medical ones.”
According to the Report on US Practice, it is the opinio juris
of the United States that there should be no distinction among the wounded and sick on any but medical grounds.