Sunday, 4 November 2007

FW: Waterboarding is torture - I did it myself, says US advisor‏

Have you ever wondered to what extent the medical profession is in bed with the psychopaths in the Establishment (the medical profession is, after all, part of the Establishment)? No? Well, I have. In fact, I often wonder who else the Establishment is in bed with, but that's for another time, I imagine.

Just imagine, if you were Mr Establishment, and you needed to know how to fuck around with a person's mind, for example? Let's say that you didn't have any clear idea of the purpose to which you would put the information, but you thought it might be useful, anyway? Never a good idea to fuck around with something, the nature of which is unclear to one, but since when did those in power have any "good" ideas? Anyway:

Dear Sir or Madam,

My colleagues and I are currently engaged in a lively discussion concerning the legal and ethical probity of medical practitioners lending their tacit approval to activities that, I think it is reasonable to state, amount to torture, (outside the rarefied (and interested) atmosphere of certain offices, that is), by attending these sessions. We came to the conclusion that the position was unclear, with professionals from both legal and medical camps playing games of semantics with coded language, by some accounts, and certainly to our eyes.

As such we determined to clarify the position, at least in the UK. What is the GMC's position on its members (ie, any and all medical professionals who subscribe to the GMC's Code of Ethics), attending these sessions? What would be the GMC's advice to a member concerning that member's legal/ethical position, were (s)he to attend a torture session? What would be the GMC's position with respect to a medical professional who attended a torture session, who was confronted with that fact, and denied its truth? What is the GMC's position with respect to its members (as defined, above), lying to it/the public, on a more general level? Does the GMC distinguish between lies to the public and lies to the GMC?

Your clarification on these various points is massively appreciated, as always, and I look forward to your detailed response in early course.

Very best regards

Matthew Holford

To: [redacted]
Subject: Waterboarding is torture - I did it myself, says US advisor
Date: Thu, 1 Nov 2007 10:59:46 +0000


I was just wondering what the profession's position was on doctors attending this sort of ritual?

Waterboarding is torture - I did it myself, says US advisor

"A team doctor watches the quantity of water that is ingested and for the physiological signs which show when the drowning effect goes from painful psychological experience to horrific, suffocating punishment, to the final death spiral."

I know that doctors in the UK have been advised not to attend forced internal cavity searches, because of their legal position (they couldn't be guaranteed immunity from prosecution), although I don't remember, now, whether there was an ethical angle to this... I know what the official position is: some bollox about "seeking to prevent greater harm," or something, which sounds frighteningly like "I was following orders," to me, but still.


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