Practice Relating to Rule 25. Medical Personnel
Ecuador’s Naval Manual (1989) states that “medical personnel, including medical and dental officers, technicians and corpsmen, nurses, and medical service personnel, have special protected status when engaged exclusively in medical duties and may not be attacked”.
The manual qualifies “deliberate attack upon … medical personnel” as a war crime.
Possession of small arms for self-protection, for the protection of the wounded and sick, and for protection from marauders and others violating the law of armed conflict does not disqualify medical personnel from protected status. Medical personnel may not use such arms against enemy forces acting in conformity with the law of armed conflict.