The Task Force on Preserving Medical Professionalism in National Security Detention Centers has released a 269-page report that claims doctors and nurses abandoned their medical ethics and assisted the U.S. government in torture.
The task force is calling an investigation of the medical profession’s role in U.S. torture, but the CIA and Pentagon have rejected the two-year study, reports Democracy Now (video below).
The report, Ethics Abandoned: Medical Professionalism and Detainee Abuse in the ‘War on Terror, is based a review of public records and shows how medical personnel were used to participate in the illegal torture of suspects and failed to report medical abuse, according to a press release.
Doctors and nurses at Gitmo and at CIA black sites overseas assisted in waterboarding, extended sleep deprivation, psychological torture and force-feeding detainees (who went on hunger strikes), which are not allowed by the American Medical Association.
“As a doctor who has been to Guantanamo and examined detainees, I am appalled that medical care there is controlled by command and security prerogatives, complete disregard for fundamental medical ethics,” Dr. Vincent Iacopino, a member of the task force, told BioEdge.org.
“It is time for the administration to end the inhuman and degrading practice of force-feeding and restore the ability of medical staff to act independently and according to their clinical and ethical obligations,” added Dr. Iacopino.
“Putting on a uniform does not and should not abrogate the fundamental principles of medical professionalism,” stated David Rothman, of the Institute for Medicine as a Profession, who took part in the report. “‘Do no harm’ and ‘put patient interest first’ must apply to all physicians regardless of where they practice.”