From Hippocrates’ Oath:
Into whatever houses I enter, I will go into them for the benefit of the sick, and will abstain from every voluntary act of mischief and corruption; and, further from the seduction of females or males, of freemen and slaves.
The non-profit organization Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) has issued a report on the extent that medical professionals were involved in the torture programs at Abu Ghraib, Bagram and Guantanamo.
The version of the 2004 CIA Inspector General’s report released on August 24, 2009 provides greater detail on the central role that health professionals played in the CIA’s torture program and reveals a level of ethical misconduct that had not previously come to light.
The report confirms that the CIA inflicted torture on detainees interrogated while in US custody as part of the agency’s counterterrorism activities and exposes additional interrogation techniques that had not yet been reported. It also demonstrates that health professionals were involved at every stage in the development, implementation and legitimization of this torture program.
The doctors and psychologists who laid the foundation upon which attorneys rationalized an illegal program of torture also actively participated in abusive and illegal interrogations, thus betraying the ethical standards of their professions by contributing to physical and mental suffering and anguish. The very premise of health professional involvement in abusive interrogations — that they have a role in safeguarding detainees — is an unconscionable affront to the profession of medicine. (read full report)
So how will this fit into the ethics every doctor swears to uphold? PHR likens the involvement of doctors onto the torture program to illegal medical experimentation on humans as forbidden by the Nuremberg Code.
Torture is vile and inexcusable in any instance. The licence to practice medicine must be taken away from everybody who takes part in it.