David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Hastings Center Report 41 (3):38-47 (2011)
Torture is unethical and usually counterproductive. It is prohibited by international and national laws. Yet it persists: according to Amnesty International, torture is widespread in more than a third of countries. Physicians and other medical professionals are frequently asked to assist with torture. Medical complicity in torture, like other forms of involvement, is prohibited both by international law and by codes of professional ethics. However, when the victims of torture are also patients in need of treatment, doctors can find themselves torn. To accede to the requests of the torturers may entail assisting or condoning terrible acts. But to refuse care to someone in medical need may seem like abandoning a patient and thereby fail to exhibit the beneficence expected of physicians. In this paper, we argue that this dilemma is real and that sometimes the right thing for a doctor to do, overall, is to be complicit in torture. Though complicity in a wrongful act is itself prima facie wrongful, this judgment may be outweighed by other factors. We propose three criteria for analyzing how those factors apply to particular cases of medical complicity in torture.
|Keywords||Torture Harsh Interrogation Medical Ethics|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Joseph Millum (2014). Consent Under Pressure: The Puzzle of Third Party Coercion. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (1):113-127.
Similar books and articles
Shunzo Majima (2012). Just Torture? Journal of Military Ethics 11 (2):136-148.
J. Jeremy Wisnewski (2010). Understanding Torture. Edinburgh University Press.
James Franklin (2009). Evidence Gained From Torture: Wishful Thinking, Checkability, and Extreme Circumstances. Cardozo Journal of International and Comparative Law 17:281-290.
Stephen Kershnar (2005). For Interrogational Torture. International Journal of Applied Philosophy 19 (2):223-241.
Fritz Allhoff (2005). Terrorism and Torture. In Timothy Shanahan (ed.), International Journal of Applied Philosophy. Open Court. 121-134.
Eric M. Rovie (2009). Tortured Knowledge. International Journal of Applied Philosophy 23 (2):315-333.
Fritz Allhoff (2003). Terrorism and Torture. International Journal of Applied Philosophy 17 (1):121-134.
O. V. Rasmussen (1991). The Involvement of Medical Doctors in Torture: The State of the Art. Journal of Medical Ethics 17 (Suppl):26-28.
Yuval Ginbar (2010). Why Not Torture Terrorists?: Moral, Practical, and Legal Aspects of the 'Ticking Bomb' Justification for Torture. Oup Oxford.
Matthew R. Silliman & David Kenneth Johnson (2007). Tortured Ethics. Social Philosophy Today 23:211-222.
Philip R. Lee, Marcus Conant, Albert R. Jonsen & Steve Heilig (2006). Participation in Torture and Interrogation: An Inexcusable Breach of Medical Ethics—A Call to Hold Military Medical Personnel Accountable to Accepted Professional Standards. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 15 (02):202-203.
Christine E. Gudorf (2011). Feminist Approaches to Religion and Torture. Journal of Religious Ethics 39 (4):613-621.
J. Jeremy Wisnewski (2008). It's About Time: Defusing the Ticking Bomb Argument. International Journal of Applied Philosophy 22 (1):103-116.
Seumas Miller (2005). Is Torture Ever Morally Justifiable? International Journal of Applied Philosophy 19 (2):179-192.
Added to index2011-05-10
Total downloads46 ( #50,411 of 1,696,233 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #239,057 of 1,696,233 )
How can I increase my downloads?