Boris Lushniak, MD, MPH, served as U.S. Deputy Surgeon General from November 2010 to September 2015 and Acting Surgeon General from July 2013 to December 2014.

May 23, 2017

Dean Boris Lushniak is one of 30 prominent American public health officials designated as lead signers of a pledge against the practice of torture. The pledge, created by Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), says:

By signing this declaration, I pledge the following:

I will never participate in or condone torture or other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment, under any circumstance or for any reason.
I will demand that the U.S. government uphold the legal prohibition against torture and ill-treatment.
I will support colleagues who resist orders to torture or inflict harm.
I will insist that my professional association support colleagues facing pressure to participate in or condone torture and ill-treatment.
I will report torture to professional associations.
I will urge professional associations to enforce ethical standards with comprehensive investigations into reports of abuse and to support professional and legal consequences for violations.

“I am personally against torture, and the public health profession is against it,” Dean Lushniak said. “It is against the grain to me personally and as a physician.”

PHR is an advocacy organization that focuses on “the critical role of forensic science, clinical medicine, and public health research in ensuring that human rights abuses are properly documented using the most rigorous scientific methodologies possible,” according to its website. PHR shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for medically documenting landmine injuries and serving as a leader in the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. They “provide credible evidence, data, and research to corroborate allegations of human rights violations not only to prevent future abuses, but also to ensure the prosecution of perpetrators by courts, tribunals, and truth commissions.”

“When I was approached, I felt quite passionate about being a part of this movement,” Dean Lushniak said.

Those working in public health and other health professions are invited to add their signatures to the pledge

Related Links

Health Professionals' Pledge Against Torture

Physicians for Human Rights

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Boris Lushniak