US military doctors involved in torturing detainees

US military doctors involved in torturing detainees
Mon Nov 4, 2013 16:57:12

According to a new independent US report, medics working for US military have been complicit in torturing terrorism suspects.

The two-year study carried out by the Institute of Medicine and the George Soros-funded Open Society Foundations states that medical professionals helped design, enable and participated in "torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment" of detainees.

The report was conducted by an independent panel of military, health, ethics and legal experts. However, both the CIA and the Pentagon have denied the report's findings.

The report says the collusion began at US prisons in Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and at CIA secret detention sites after September 11 attacks.

Co-author Leonard Rubenstein told that the report revealed "the legacy of torture and detainee abuse at Guantanamo and elsewhere on the medical community".

"What we found was that the department of defence and the CIA actually changed core ethical standards to facilitate participation by health professionals in the abuse of detainees. And those distortions still exist," he said.

The report says that medical professionals are required to force-feed detainees, including those at Guantanamo Bay.

Rubenstein says "One [example] is the use of physicians to force-feed detainees and using very coercive restraint chairs in a way that violates the ethical standards of the World Medical Association and American medical groups."

"Another is participation in interrogations where health professionals search for vulnerabilities which interrogators can exploit."

The report calls on the US Senate Intelligence Committee to fully investigate medical practices at the detention sites.

In April the president of the American Medical Association, Dr. Jeremy A. Lazarus, wrote a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel saying that doctors who participated in forced feedings were violating the “core ethical values of the medical profession.”


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