Earlier today I drew attention to a post by Questionable Authority on The Torture Memos, Medical "Professionals", and the Hippocratic Oath. Says Mike,
I cannot remember ever in my life being as ashamed of my country as I am at this moment. The contents of the memos are so insanely wrong that I'd like to believe that they're fiction, but they're clearly not.
He ends by calling for the AMA to identify the medical professionals involved and help them find new lines of work. A commenter on one of my earlier posts on psychologists, doctors, and torture, T. Hunt, joins him:
While the modern Hippocratic oath does not contain "first, do no harm', it does contain this passage:
"I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm."
Another oath approved by the AMA contains this passage:
"That you will exercise your art solely for the cure of your patients, and will give no drug, perform no operation, for a criminal purpose, even if solicited, far less suggest it."
Those in the medical profession that participated in the torture of others should be prohibited from ever involving themselves in the practice of medicine, anywhere, for any reason. Period. They have violated a concept that goes to the very heart of their value and place in our society and have forfeited the right to ever be called on again in that capacity. Biblical shunning would be appropriate.
To willingly and deliberately enable others to inflict pain and damage on another human being, for ANY reason, is a crime worse than the actual infliction of that pain or damage. It gives the act of torture a moral blessing that it neither deserves or warrants. Torture itself is nothing but sadism and its utility has been widely disproved. There is nothing to be gained, short term or long term, except the degradation of those who torture and those who sponsor it. And in doing this, we have put those who fight for us, those we call upon to give the utmost measure, in gravest danger when they take the battlefield in our name.
We have been diminished as a nation and as an idea in the world due to the fear that has overwhelmed us since Sept. 11, 2001. We have allowed those who speak for us to torture and deceive on our behalf and we all bear some of the responsibility for the acts of our nation. We need to start setting things right and a first step would be for the AMA to expel any who participated in or enabled torture.