Practice Relating to Rule 26. Medical Activities
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands restates the prohibition to violate medical ethics found in Article 16 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I.
With respect to non-international armed conflicts in particular, the manual states:
[Medical personnel] may not be compelled to perform tasks which are incompatible with their humanitarian mission. Medical personnel may not be required to give priority to any person, except on medical grounds. Nobody may be punished for having carried out medical acts which are compatible with medical ethics, regardless of the persons who benefited from those acts.
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states:
No one may be punished for carrying out medical treatment compatible with medical ethics, regardless of who benefits from such actions. Persons who do medical work may not be ordered to engage in activities incompatible with the rules of medical ethics or with the requirements of the humanitarian law of war, neither may they be forced to refrain from activities prescribed by medical rules or requirements.
In its chapter on non-international armed conflict, the manual states:
Medical and religious personnel must be respected, protected and helped in fulfilling their duties. They may not be forced to carry out tasks incompatible with their humanitarian mission. Medical personnel may not be required to give priority to a person, save on medical grounds, while carrying out their duties. No one may be punished for carrying out medical actions which are compatible with medical ethics, no matter who benefited from the treatment.
In the discussion at the CDDH on a proposal by Brazil, which purported to add “wounds by firearms, or other evidence related to a criminal offence” as a further exception, the Netherlands stated: “Physicians should not be obliged to denounce a member of a resistance movement who had wounded a member of the occupying forces.”