Medical Professionals Appraised "Fitness" for Torture... How Sick is That?

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A new report published in the New England Journal of Medicine today explores the dynamics of lawyer/physician collaboration in torture, and the mutual culpability the professions share:

Medical professionals, primarily private contractors, filled four basic roles at the black sites: clearing terrorist suspects as "medically fit" for torture; monitoring torture to prevent death and treat injuries; developing novel torture methods; and actually torturing prisoners. All these actions were taken only after CIA and U.S. Department of Justice attorneys assured the medical professionals that they had immunity from prosecution and would not be held legally responsible for violating U.S. and international law against torture as long as they used the techniques approved in legal memos (since withdrawn) written to justify their actions. Lawyers agreed to provide immunity assurances that specific torture techniques were legal "enhanced interrogation" methods only if the physicians assured them that they would be present to prevent permanent harm to prisoners.

The report concludes that the question raised by the the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee's report on torture of whether torture "works"  -- like whether slavery "works" -- is simply the wrong question, and admonishes all parties to observe ethical practice.

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This page contains a single entry published on June 11, 2015 1:20 PM.

Professor Warns of Automated Killing Machines was the previous entry in this blog.

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