Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 5 Share on Twitter 1 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
General News    H3'ed 7/6/10

U.S. Doctors Approved Torture And Denied Medicine To Captives

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     (# of views)   No comments
Author 4140
Message Sherwood Ross
Become a Fan
  (47 fans)

American doctors in the Middle East routinely approved the torture of captured suspects and denied them critical medications such as insulin, sometimes with lethal consequences, according to a documented report published in the "Utne Reader."

In Dec., 2002, Defense Secy. Donald Rumsfeld issued a directive allowing interrogators to withhold medical care in nonemergency situations so that "men with injuries including gunshot wounds were denied treatment as a way to make them talk," writes author Justine Sharrock. Although the directive was soon revoked, "the practice continued," she said.

Interrogations conducted at the infamous Abu Ghraib correctional facility in Baghdad had to be preapproved by a physician and psychiatrist, and the CIA got like orders for the punishments it inflicted at its sites.

Sharrock quotes medic Andrew Duffy of the 134th medical company of the Iowa National Guard who told her the attitude of Abu Ghraib's medical officers toward prisoners was "screw these guys" and who said he was ridiculed for trying to save one man's life using CPR.

Long after the world-shaking Abu Ghraib photos were published in 2004 and the Pentagon vowed to stop abusing prisoners, "men were still being strapped into restraint chairs and left in the sun for hours or locked in cells too small to lie down in," Sharrock writes. "The medics regularly found prisoners dehydrated, wrists bloody from overtight handcuffs, ankles swollen from forced standing, joints dislocated from stress positions." (Abu Ghraib's former commandant Gen. Janis Karpinski once estimated 90% of the prisoners were innocent.)

In one instance involving detainee No. 173379 who appeared to need an insulin injection, medics were told to inject the man instead with saline solution using a 14-gauge needle more than two millimeters in diameter of the sort that was used as punishment or to discourage prisoners from seeking care, MP's doused him with pepper spray and stuck him in a tiny cell in the scorching heat, Sharrock writes, and he died the next day. Duffy's written complaint to his supervising captain disappeared.

Pentagon top health official doctor William Winkenwerder Jr. in 2005 allowed military physicians to participate in torture and share medical records with interrogators so long as a detainee wasn't officially their patient, Sharrock writes. Winkenwerder, she adds, got an award from the American Medical Assn.(AMA) that year for outstanding contributions "to the betterment of the public health." The AMA has refused to condemn Pentagon and CIA torture practices and made no response when in Feb., 2006, the U.N. Commission on Human Rights condemned U.S. doctors for having "systematically" participated in detainee abuse. Bioethicist Steven Miles of the University of Minnesota Medical School said the U.N. condemnation should have been "a call to arms" yet "the AMA said nothing."

Sharrock said none of the AMA's top officials she contacted would comment on her story. Nor has any State licensing board, which have the authority to suspend licenses, "ever disciplined a doctor for assisting in military torture.

As for the American Psychiatric Assn., in May, 2006, its President Steven Sharfstein noted that psychiatrists "wouldn't get into trouble" if they heeded military orders over the APA's advice that members should not directly assist in interrogations, which he added should not be considered "an ethical rule," Sharrock writes. Her Utne Reader article was first published in Mother Jones magazine.

 

Rate It | View Ratings

Sherwood Ross Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Sherwood Ross worked as a reporter for the Chicago Daily News and contributed a regular "Workplace" column for Reuters. He has contributed to national magazines and hosted a talk show on WOL, Washington, D.C. In the Sixties he was active as public (more...)
 
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

U.S. Overthrow in the Ukraine Risks Nuclear War With Russia

Radioactive Ammunition Fired in Middle East May Claim More Lives Than Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Obama Expands the American Warfare State

NSA MAY BE READING WINDOWS SOFTWARE IN YOUR COMPUTER

Is George W. Bush Sane?

Inside America's Biological Warfare Center