David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
BMC Medical Ethics 4 (1):1-10 (2003)
Background Post-September 11, 2001, the U.S. government has labeled thousands of Afghan war detainees "unlawful combatants". This label effectively deprives these detainees of the protection they would receive as "prisoners of war" under international humanitarian law. Reports have emerged that indicate that thousands of detainees being held in secret military facilities outside the United States are being subjected to questionable "stress and duress" interrogation tactics by U.S. authorities. If true, American military physicians could be inadvertently becoming complicit in detainee abuse. Moreover, the American government's openly negative views towards such detainees could result in military physicians not wanting to provide reasonable care to detainees, despite it being their ethical duty to do so. Discussion This paper assesses the physician's obligations to treat war detainees in the light of relevant instruments of international humanitarian law and medical ethics. It briefly outlines how detainee abuse flourished in apartheid South Africa when state physicians became morally detached from the interests of their detainee patients. I caution U.S physicians not to let the same mindset befall them. I urge the U.S. medical community to advocate for detainee rights in the U.S, regardless of the political culture the detainee emerged from. I offer recommendations to U.S physicians facing dual loyalty conflicts of interest in the "war on terror". Summary If U.S. physicians are faced with a conflict of interest between following national policies or international principles of humanitarian law and medical ethics, they should opt to adhere to the latter when treating war detainees. It is important for the U.S. medical community to speak out against possible detainee abuse by the U.S. government.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
Benjamin Gesundheit, Nachman Ash, Shraga Blazer & Avraham Rivkind (2009). Medical Care for Terrorists—To Treat or Not to Treat? American Journal of Bioethics 9 (10):40-42.
Norain A. Siddiqui, Murat Civaner & Omur Cinar Elci (2013). Physician Involvement in Torture: An Ethical Perspective. [REVIEW] Journal of Medical Humanities 34 (1):59-71.
Similar books and articles
Mark Denbeaux, Joshua W. Denbeaux & R. David Gratz, The Meaning of 'Battlefield': An Analysis of the Government's Representations of 'Battlefield' Capture and 'Recidivism' of the Guantánamo Detainees.
Benjamin R. Bates (2006). Care of the Self and American Physicians' Place in the "War on Terror": A Foucauldian Reading of Senator Bill Frist, M.D. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 31 (4):385 – 400.
Leith Hathout (2012). The Right to Practice Medicine Without Repercussions: Ethical Issues in Times of Political Strife. Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine 7 (1):1-6.
Matthew K. Wynia (2007). Breaching Confidentiality to Protect the Public: Evolving Standards of Medical Confidentiality for Military Detainees. American Journal of Bioethics 7 (8):1 – 5.
Peter Margulies, The Detainees' Dilemma: The Virtues and Vices of Mobilization Strategies for Human Rights in the War on Terror.
Chiara Lepora, Marion Danis & Alan Wertheimer (2009). No Exceptionalism Needed to Treat Terrorists. American Journal of Bioethics 9 (10):53-54.
Steven H. Miles (2013). The New Military Medical Ethics: Legacies of the Gulf Wars and the War on Terror. Bioethics 27 (3):117-123.
Marc A. Rodwin (2010). Conflicts of Interest and the Future of Medicine: The United States, France, and Japan. Oxford University Press.
Steven H. Miles (2007). Medical Ethics and the Interrogation of Guantanamo 063. American Journal of Bioethics 7 (4):5 – 11.
Fritz Allhoff (2008). Physicians at War: The Dual-Loyalties Challenge. Journal of Military Ethics 7 (4):320-322.
Laurence B. McCullough (1999). A Basic Concept in the Clinical Ethics of Managed Care: Physicians and Institutions as Economically Disciplined Moral Co-Fiduciaries of Populations of Patients. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 24 (1):77 – 97.
Marc A. Rodwin (1993). Medicine, Money, and Morals: Physicians' Conflicts of Interest. Oxford University Press.
Added to index2010-11-17
Total downloads11 ( #213,089 of 1,725,404 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #349,420 of 1,725,404 )
How can I increase my downloads?