17 Juli 2018
Velkommen til Danish medical group against the death penalty

Who we are

Danish Medical Group against the Death Penalty was established in 1981 as a subsection of Amnesty International’s Danish Medical Group in accordance with a proposal put forth by Amnesty’s International Secretariat in London.

The purpose of forming a medical group against the death penalty was primarily to draw public attention to the fact that physicians are a party to the passing of death sentences and participate at executions, but also to the fact that the death penalty is a cruel and inhuman form of punishment that violates the right to life. The group is the only medical group of its kind in Amnesty International and works in close conjunction with Amnesty’s International Secretariat in London.




The group numbers between 5 and 10 members, three of whom have been members for the entire period. The members of the group are primarily medical doctors, but nurses have also taken part in the work.

The group aims to put maximum focus on the participation of physicians and other health professionals in the death penalty and at executions.

The group’s tasks are as follows:


  • One major area is contact with national and international medical associations and other international organizations in many areas of the world. The group has urged medical associations to pass resolutions against medical participation in the death penalty and against the death penalty as such. In many cases this has born fruit. Several resolutions have been passed that have been inspired by the work of the group.


  • At medical and nursing conferences the group works to draw attention to death penalty issues and has been instrumental in passing resolutions.


  • Members write articles in medical journals and newspapers and participate in other media activities.


  • The group protests in specific cases when sick people have been sentenced to death and executed. In most cases these are people suffering from psychiatric disorders.


  • The group seeks to influence of the authorities particularly the health authorities in countries either with or without the death penalty.


  • One special focus area is to draw public attention to the use of organs from executed prisoners for transplantations.


  • The group works closely with Amnesty’s International Secretariat in London, medical groups of other national sections and with organizations outside Amnesty working to abolish the death penalty.


Members of the group