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US health professionals helped in the torture of detainees, report says

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f6680 (Published 05 November 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f6680
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

US physicians, psychologists, and other health professionals aided in the harsh interrogation and torture of prisoners held in Afghanistan, Iraq, Guantánamo Bay, and other overseas detention centers operated by the US military and the Central Intelligence Agency as part of the United States’ “war on terror,” says a new report.1

The participation of US military and intelligence agency medical personnel in these practices was “in clear conflict with established international and national professional principles and laws,” the report found.

The report, Ethics Abandoned: Medical Professionalism and Detainee Abuse in the “War on Terror,” was prepared by a task force of 20 physicians, lawyers, ethicist and human rights experts funded by the Institute on Medicine as a Profession, a health policy think tank based at Columbia University in New York City, and the Open Society Foundation, a grant-making organization founded by billionaire philanthropists George Soros. The report was based on unclassified, publicly available information.

After the 9/11 terrorists attacks in September 2001, the US government ruled that suspected terrorists captured in Afghanistan and …

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