Monday, November 14, 2005

Why are doctors part of torture?

Today was our Semi-Annual Board Meeting. It's fun, we can send out grant award letters finally (the application date was my birthday-August 1), and we always have a "seminar" for the Board dealing with an aspect of our grant programs.

Today's presenter was Johnathan Marks, a barrister in London and a Greenwall bioethics fellow at Georgetown and Johns Hopkins. His presentation was "Doctors & Interrogators: Medical Ethics, Human Rights & the Laws of War." He was kind enough to give us some prepatory reading in today's Times op-ed page.

His presentation got down to the conflict of a physician's hypocratic oath to treat all patients with greatest respect to their being, and the policies of the US military in using physicians, particularly psychiatrist, to formulate aggressive interrogation practices. This all falls under the current uproar over the White House stance to allow torture, which John McCain's proposal forbids torture in any venue. There is support among the medical community on the McCain amendment but the AMA has been slow to comment.

One of the interesting points raised in the discussion is that the current administration treats international law as fundementally endangering US interests. Yet where do those ideas come from? From the greatest of Americans who had a bold vision for the world as well as their country.


Blogger Steve said...

What took so long for the American press to discover this was taking place?

The Scooter Libby indictment meant that the Bush Admin. is in full retreat, and skeleton after skeleton is falling out of the closet.

Tuesday, 15 November, 2005  

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