History of the group

Since 1981 the Danish Medical Group Against the Death Penalty has been part of a movement to end the use of the death penalty.

The Danish Medical Group Against the Death Penalty has worked against the death penalty on an international scale since 1982. Being the only one of its kind, the group has had a great impact in several countries, putting pressure on authorities, medical associations and the pharmaceutical industry all over the world.

The 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 from Amnesty’s International Secretariat in London. The purpose of The Danish Medical Group Against the Death Penalty is:

  • to prevent medical participation in the death penalty, in executions, and in organ transplantation from executed prisoners.
  • to draw public attention to the fact that physicians are active parties to the passing of death sentences and participate in executions.
  • to prevent the execution of mentally disabled people and people with severe psychiatric illness.
  • to draw attention 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 together with Amnesty’s International Secretariat in London. The main target groups are authorities nationally and internationally, medical organizations, individual colleagues, pharmaceutical companies, and the general public.

The group consists of 5 to 10 members, three of whom have been members for the entire period. All members of the group are medical doctors, although other medical personnel previously have taken part in the work. A list of the members is available here.

 Written: 2020-06-04 Lars Bønløkke