Practice Relating to Rule 25. Medical Personnel
Medical personnel are those exclusively assigned to medical units and engaged in the search for, or the collection, transport or treatment of the wounded and sick, or in the prevention of disease. They are to be respected, protected and not attacked. Military medical personnel who are captured during an international armed conflict are not prisoners of war. They may be “retained” for the sole purpose of providing medical care for POWs [prisoners of war] of their own forces … Military medical personnel who may have medical duties to perform on a temporary basis, e.g. stretcher bearers, may not be attacked while performing medical duties. On capture, they become POWs but are to be employed on medical duties if the need arises.