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dinsdag, augustus 03, 2004

Dag dokter 

De Amerikaanse medische gemeenschap begint nu ook te beseffen dat ze een rol speelde in Torturegate®. In een artikel in de New England Journal of Medicine worden de bekende NYT en WaPo artikelen over Ubu Ghraib en Guantanomo tegen het licht gehouden en inderdaad, artsen en verplegers hebben medische dossiers aan ondervragers afgestaan, hechtten verwondingen en gaven pijnstillers aan in elkaar geslagen Irakezen. En zwegen. Oude koek eigenlijk, maar dan wordt er stevig stelling genomen:

The doctors thus brought a medical component to what I call an "atrocity-producing situation" — one so structured, psychologically and militarily, that ordinary people can readily engage in atrocities. Even without directly participating in the abuse, doctors may have become socialized to an environment of torture and by virtue of their medical authority helped sustain it. In studying various forms of medical abuse, I have found that the participation of doctors can confer an aura of legitimacy and can even create an illusion of therapy and healing.

The Nazis provided the most extreme example of doctors' becoming socialized to atrocity. In addition to cruel medical experiments, many Nazi doctors, as part of military units, were directly involved in killing. To reach that point, they underwent a sequence of socialization: first to the medical profession, always a self-protective guild; then to the military, where they adapted to the requirements of command; and finally to camps such as Auschwitz, where adaptation included assuming leadership roles in the existing death factory. The great majority of these doctors were ordinary people who had killed no one before joining murderous Nazi institutions. They were corruptible and certainly responsible for what they did, but they became murderers mainly in atrocity-producing settings.

Het stuk eindigt met de conclusie dat het gedrag van artsen en ander medisch personeel nader onderzocht moet worden. Blijf hopen, dokter.
Doctors and Torture
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