Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

CIA Health Care

The lawyers wrote the torture memos, but the medical profession was there to implement them.

According to the Washington Post, "documents show a steady stream of psychologists, physicians and other health officials who both kept detainees alive and actively participated in designing the interrogation program and monitoring its implementation...

"Most of the psychologists were contract employees of the CIA, according to intelligence officials familiar with the program."

The Bush Administration was apparently as active in corrupting doctors as lawyers in violating AMA policies that physicians "must not be present when torture is used or threatened" and may treat detainees only "if doing so is in their best interest" and not just to monitor their health "so that torture can begin or continue."

The Bush version of the Hippocratic Oath apparently interpreted health care as keeping patients alive and well enough to endure continuing abuse, an ethical position that would not have offended Dr. Josef Mengele of Nazi concentration camp fame.

With the economy taking up so much attention, it has been easy to forget just how bad the past eight years of lawlessness have been.

"The health professionals involved in the CIA program broke the law and shame the bedrock ethical traditions of medicine and psychology," says the chief executive of Physicians for Human Rights, an international advocacy group of physicians against torture. "All psychologists and physicians found to be involved in the torture of detainees must lose their license and never be allowed to practice again."

The next time you visit your family doctor, you may want to check his resume for a stint of government service in the past decade.


Stimpson said...

Shame on every one of the physicians who enabled torturers. First do no harm, after all.

Yellow Dog Don said...

The SERE (Survival,Evasion,Resistance,Escape) training program for members of the military uses many of these methods on its trainees. I was one of them.

The objective is to have them experience some of the torture and trickery they might endure if taken prisoner.

However, to subject prisoners to these methods is a violation of the Geneva Convention.

The officials who approved these methods of torture to be used on prisoners should be prosecuted.