Monday, October 03, 2005

Hippocratic Hypocrisy

Norm points out how new U.S. Department of Defense guidelines
contravene international principles of medical ethics by permitting physicians to facilitate and monitor abusive interrogation practices, according to a commentary published in the Journal of the American Medical Association for September 28.

"When the DoD guidelines came out, they looked similar to the United Nations guidelines," lead author Leonard Rubenstein told Reuters Health. "So we took a closer look and the differences were strikingly significant and very disturbing, not just because they seem to undermine traditional and well established ethical principles."

"It seemed clear that the ethical guidelines were designed to accommodate the kinds of roles the military wanted health care professionals to play in interrogation rather than starting with what the right ethical stance was," he added.
Norm goes on to add
For reasons which I won't insult the reader by spelling out, the use of doctors or other health care people in the abuse of human beings is a particular obscenity, over and above the more general one of the abuse itself. It disfigures the project and aims being fought for in the war against terror, and for democracy in Iraq.
Indeed it does. It is also wrong. That is, W-R-O-N-G.

Torture is one of those universal things that everyone should be against in all circumstances. And that includes the ticking-bomb case.

Torture is always W-R-O-N-G.

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