“Because the interrogators were using coercive techniques, physicians and other healthcare personnel, in some circumstances, could not avoid becoming involved in decisions concerning the intensity and duration of the pain and harm to be inflicted, or whether it was to be inflicted at all. Moreover, the involvement or presence of physicians and other healthcare personnel in the guise of protecting detainees can have the effect of legitimizing the infliction of harm in the eyes of interrogators and security staff … U.S. military officials’ efforts to promulgate ethical guidelines that enable physician participation in coercive interrogation practices are inconsistent with international principles of medical ethics and, if unanswered by the medical community, establish a dangerous precedent. We believe that the vast majority of military physicians support international principles of medical ethics and do not wish to practice under untenable circumstances. The physician’s duty to promote health and human dignity requires unity and action among military and nonmilitary physicians to maintain the integrity of medical professionalsethics and to earn the trust of those served.” – the editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association, September 28, 2005. In my view, military doctors who are being dragged in to the torture and abuse of detainees at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere need to resign if they are to maintain basic ethical standards. Just because the administration has abandoned ethics, it doesn’t mean we all have to go along. Resistance is not futile. It’s now vital. (The full editorial can only be read if you pay a small amount of money).


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