State University of Medicine may introduce a study course on torture
16 December 2015

State University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Nicolae Testemitanu” may introduce an optional study course on the phenomenon of torture and other inhuman treatment, both to the university and post-university study courses, in accordance with the findings of a relevant feasibility study.

This recommendation was made as result of discussions held at a round table organized by the University, with the participation of the representatives of the UN Development Program (UNDP) Moldova, members of the University’s Administrative council, representatives of Forensic Medicine, Philosophy and Bioethics Faculty, professors, students and residents.

Mr. Evghenii Golosceapov, Program Coordinator, Justice and Human Rights, UNDP Moldova, thanked University officials for their openness toward the feasibility study and the possibility to familiarize and train future doctors in the area of torture prevention: “Doctors and medical practitioners are key persons who document the cases of torture, both physical and psychological, while the lack of proper description of the cases of torture may allow the aggressor to avoid the punishment”.

According to the deputy rector of the University on the matters of quality and integrity of the studies, Mrs. Olga Cernetski, it is good to introduce this study course to the curricula of the SUMP “Nicolae Testemitanu” and to certain components of the Family medicine study program. Given that this phenomenon may exist in different areas, such as, for instance, rural areas, the existence of the necessary personnel with the local primary medical care centers is mandatory.

Mr. Andrei Padure, UNDP expert and head of Forensic Medicine Faculty, presented the report on the Feasibility Study on introduction of the provisions of Istanbul Protocol to SUMP “Nicolae Testemitanu” Study Program, emphasizing the fundamental role of the doctors in duly application of the fair trial of the cases of torture. “It should be mentioned that the quality and plenitude of the medical examination, as well as proper documentations of the torture consequences by the medical practitioners depend on the medical examination capacity to identify and prove, impartially, the existence of the torture and its consequences, qualifying these actions as infliction of bodily harm, especially when the medical examination is made solely based on the medical documents used as the only source of medical information with respect to the bodily injury of the victim”.  

Members of the Philosophy and Bioethics Faculty tried to approach the subject of discussion in lights of ethics and consequences of torture with respect to the psychological stare of the victim. Another topic for discussions – the difference between the torture and other inhuman treatment – was a subject to controversy between the forensic medicine and bioethics practitioners.      

The students present at the event supported the initiative on introduction of the optional course of studies, considering that this will be studies mostly from a practical perspective. Given this, the participants formulated the recommendation to study this course in a form of simulation.

This study course is recommended to be drafted and implemented in the university study program (Faculty of Medicine) and post-university study program (Residency and Secondary Clinic Studies Faculty, Continuous Medical and Pharmaceutical Studies Faculty), together with course studies in a form of simulation for the doctors from SUMP “Nicolae Testemitanu”.  

The feasibility study was drafted as a part of “Strengthening National Capacities to Protect the Most Vulnerable from Torture in Moldova” Project, financed by the European Union, co-financed and implemented by the UN Development Program in Moldova, with the consultation of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Est European Foundation and Soros-Moldova Foundation. Previously, UNDP, in collaboration with the EU, invested approximately one million euro in modernization of the Forensic Medicine Center.   


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