Military and CIA Order Military Docs: Do Some Harm to Terror Suspects Via Torture

More reporting from the ethical and moral horror show of
America’s “war on terror,”
via the UK Guardian

Doctors and psychologists working for the US military violated
the ethical codes of their profession under instruction from the
defence department and the CIA to become involved in
the torture and degrading treatment of suspected terrorists, an
investigation has concluded.

The report of the Taskforce on Preserving Medical
Professionalism in National Security Detention Centres concludes
that after 9/11, health professionals working with the military and
intelligence services “designed and participated in cruel, inhumane
and degrading treatment and torture of detainees”.

Medical professionals were in effect told that their ethical
mantra “first do no harm” did not apply, because they were not
treating people who were ill.

The report lays blame primarily on the defence department (DoD)
and the CIA, which required their healthcare staff to put aside any
scruples in the interests of intelligence gathering and security
practices that caused severe harm to detainees, from waterboarding
to sleep deprivation and force-feeding.

The two-year review by the 19-member taskforce, Ethics Abandoned:
Medical Professionalism and Detainee Abuse in the War on Terror,
supported by the Institute
on Medicine as a Profession (IMAP)
 and the Open Society
Foundations, says that the DoD termed those involved in
interrogation “safety officers” rather than doctors. Doctors and
nurses were required to participate in the force-feeding of
prisoners on hunger strike, against the rules of the World Medical
Association and the American Medical Association. Doctors and
psychologists working for the DoD were required to breach patient
confidentiality and share what they knew of the prisoner’s physical
and psychological condition with interrogators and were used as
interrogators themselves. They also failed to comply with
recommendations from the army surgeon general on reporting abuse of

“Putting on a uniform does not and should not abrogate the
fundamental principles of medical professionalism,” said IMAP
president David Rothman. “‘Do no harm’ and ‘put patient interest
first’ must apply to all physicians regardless of where they
practise.”The taskforce wants a full investigation into the
involvement of the medical profession in detention centres. It is
also calling for publication of the Senate intelligence committee’s
inquiry into CIA practices and wants rules to ensure doctors and
psychiatrists working for the military are allowed to abide by the
ethical obligations of their profession; they should be prohibited
from taking part in interrogation, sharing information from
detainees’ medical records with interrogators, or participating in
force-feeding, and they should be required to report abuse of

The full report
can be downloaded here

from Hit & Run

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