Hui, C. and D. Zion
BMJ 362: k3001
Healthcare practitioners who are dedicated to making the lives of children and their families better watched in disbelief as the ongoing situation of separating children from their parents unfolded at the southern border of the United States. We know that for many families the migration journey is traumatic and has lasting effects; separation and detention simply compound this trauma. Many healthcare workers are mindful of the clear guidance set out in the Declaration of Tokyo,1 which states: “The physician shall not countenance, condone or participate in the practice of torture or other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading procedures.”Global outrage led President Trump to sign an executive order on 20 June that will keep more families together. At the same time, the order provides more authority to detain families until the end of their administrative proceedings. The US government is now seeking the power to detain immigrant children beyond 20 days and potentially indefinitely.