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Originally published November 14 2013

US doctors participated in CIA-run torture of 9/11 suspects, report finds

by Ethan A. Huff, staff writer

(NaturalNews) All the police state hysteria following the 9/11 terrorist attacks back in 2001 apparently provided good cover for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to coerce American doctors into violating the Hippocratic Oath by participating in heinous torture activities against suspected terrorists, a shocking new report claims.

A two-year investigation conducted by a 19-member task force known as the Task Force on Preserving Medical Professionalism in National Security Detention Centers found that both the DoD and CIA ordered doctors and psychologists working for the U.S. military to harm suspected terrorists that were being detained at Guantanamo Bay and other detention camps.

The government's excuse was that the ethical code of "first do no harm," which is how doctors are supposed to engage their practices, does not apply to alleged terrorists, because they are not already sick. Using this fallacious logic, officials basically demanded that military healthcare staff perform torture routines like "waterboarding" and sleep deprivation, in clear defiance of their oath.

Medical staff were also ordered to participate in interrogation routines, which included force-feeding prisoners on hunger strikes in violation of the rules of the World Medical Association and the American Medical Association. The DoD also pressured doctors to breach patient confidentiality by sharing information about prisoners' physical and psychological conditions with government interrogators.

The report, entitled "Ethics Abandoned: Medical Professionalism and Detainee Abuse in the War on Terror," highlights these and many other activities that allegedly took place as part of the so-called "War on Terror," concluding that various health professionals working for the government "designed and participated in cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment and torture of detainees."

Task Force says government still forcing military doctors to violate professional, ethical standards

While the CIA and DoD insist that such practices are no longer taking place, at least at Guantanamo Bay, the Task Force is concerned about how these flagrant violations have already disrupted the professional and ethical standards of health professionals working for the military. It also insists that such activities are still taking place and that the government is basically covering for its offenses.

"The American public has a right to know that the covenant with its physicians to follow professional ethical expectations is firm regardless of where they serve," says Dr. Gerald Thomson, a professor of medicine emeritus at Columbia University and member of the task force.

"It's clear that in the name of national security the military trumped that covenant, and physicians were transformed into agents of the military and performed acts that were contrary to medical ethics and practice. We have a responsibility to make sure this never happens again."

Thomson and his fellow task force members are calling for a full investigation into the medical profession's past and continued involvement at government detention centers, as well as for the Senate Intelligence Committee's inquiry into CIA practices at these centers to be officially published. The group simply wants the truth to be revealed and for the integrity of the medical profession to be preserved.

"Putting on a uniform does not and should not abrogate the fundamental principles of medical professionalism," says David Rothman, president of the Institute on Medicine and a Profession, which supported the Task Force's investigation. "'Do no harm' and 'put patient interest first' must apply to all physicians regardless of where they practice."

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