United States of America
Practice Relating to Rule 26. Medical Activities
In the Levy case
in 1968, the US Army Board of Review held that medical ethics could not excuse disobedience to the orders of a superior. An army doctor had pleaded that the order to train Green Berets paramedics was contrary to medical ethics, which forbade training unqualified personnel to perform treatment which should be done by a physician.
In 1987, in submitting the 1977 Additional Protocol II to the US Senate for advice and consent to ratification, the US President recommended a reservation to Article 10 of the 1977 Additional Protocol II to preclude the possibility that it might affect the administration of discipline of US military personnel.
In its Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 1996, the US Department of State noted, in the section on Turkey and under the heading “Use of Excessive Force and Violations of Humanitarian Law in Internal Conflicts”, that the provisions of the Turkish Penal Code and Anti-Terror Law prohibiting assistance to illegal organizations or armed groups were used extensively to prosecute health professionals who provided care to individuals suspected of being members of terrorist organizations.
Commenting on this, the Report on US Practice states the principle that: “During internal armed conflict, medical personnel should not be punished solely for treating the wounded.”
In 1987, in submitting the 1977 Additional Protocol II to the US Senate for advice and consent to ratification, the US President recommended a reservation to Article 10 of the 1977 Additional Protocol II to make clear that military medical personnel could be required to disclose otherwise confidential information to appropriate authorities.