Saluting Medical Ethics

Water-boarding. Rectal feeding. Shackling.

These are examples of brutal detention and interrogation practices that physicians, psychologists and nurses have been required to engage in while serving the Department of Defense (DoD) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

But they shouldn’t have to violate their duty to avoid harm, argue experts in this PLOS Medicine essay. According to a recent Defense Health Board report, it’s possible to accomplish military missions with medical ethics intact.

“The health professional community should urge the Secretary of Defense to adopt and implement the recommendations of the Defense Health Board,” experts write, which includes rescinding directives authorizing health professionals to participate in forms of torture.
PLOS Medicine

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