Documentation of torture victims, assessment of the start procedure for medico-legal documentation.Torture. 2007; 17(3):196-202.T
A Pilot Study was performed at the Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victims (RCT) in Copenhagen in order to explore the possibilities for adding a medico-legal documentation component to the rehabilitation of torture victims already taking place. It describes the process and results on implementing medico-legal documentation in a rehabilitative setting. A modified version of the Guidelines in the Istanbul Protocol was developed on the basis of the review of literature and current practices described in "Documentation of torture victims, implementation of medico-legal protocols". The modified guidelines were tested on five clients. The aim was twofold: 1) To assess the client's attitude towards the idea of adding a documentation component to the rehabilitation process and: 2) To assess the practical circumstances of implementing the Istanbul Protocol in the everyday life of a rehabilitation centre. Results show that all five clients were positive towards the project and found comfort in being able to contribute to the fight against impunity. Also, the Pilot Study demonstrated that a large part of the medico-legal documentation was already obtained in the rehabilitation process. It was however not accessible due to lack of systematization and a data registering system. There are thus important synergies in collecting data for rehabilitation and documentation but a joint database system is necessary to realize these synergies.