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Healthline Connects

Doctors and Nurses Who Participate in Torture

Will Moore of Florida State University's Department of Political Science reports that 78% of governments around the world use torture against persons under their control, and the US is one of them. While politicians, reporters and the general public decry torture as abhorrent, the use of torture techniques is widespread and ever more sophisticated.

In 2004 the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) reported on the complicity of US doctors, nurses and medics in torture in Guantanamo Bay, Iraq and Afghanistan. The International Red Cross complained about prisoners medical records being turned over to interrogators. But it went beyond that - there is evidence that medical personnel have become part of the prison environment and involved in the actual planning and orchestration of torture.

These practices are in direct conflict with the World Medical Association Resolution on the Responsibility of Physicians in the Documentation and Denunciation of Torture 0f 2002. It is a gross violation of medical ethics for medical personnel to participate in torture. Doctors in Nazi Germany orchestrated the death camps and so-called medical experiments. In Chile and elsewhere in the Americas, South Africa and the Soviet Union and the Middle East, medical personnel and especially psychiatrists have been participants in government sponsored torture.
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