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Hunger Strikers: Ethical and Legal Dimensions of Medical Complicity in Torture at Guantanamo Bay

  • Sarah M. Dougherty (a1), Jennifer Leaning (a1) (a2) (a3), P. Gregg Greenough (a2) (a4) (a5) and Frederick M. Burkle (a4) (a6)

Physicians and other licensed health professionals are involved in force-feeding prisoners on hunger strike at the US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay (GTMO), Cuba, the detention center established to hold individuals captured and suspected of being terrorists in the wake of September 11, 2001. The force-feeding of competent hunger strikers violates medical ethics and constitutes medical complicity in torture. Given the failure of civilian and military law to end the practice, the medical profession must exert policy and regulatory pressure to bring the policy and operations of the US Department of Defense into compliance with established ethical standards. Physicians, other health professionals, and organized medicine must appeal to civilian state oversight bodies and federal regulators of medical science to revoke the licenses of health professionals who have committed prisoner abuses at GTMO.

DoughertySM, LeaningJ, GreenoughPG, BurkleFMJr. Hunger Strikers: Ethical and Legal Dimensions of Medical Complicity in Torture at Guantanamo Bay. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2013;28(6):1-9.

Corresponding author
Correspondence: Sarah M. Dougherty, JD, MPH FXB Center for Health and Human Rights Harvard School of Public Health 651 Huntington Ave, 7th Floor Boston, MA 02115 USA E-mail
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SM Dougherty , J Leaning , PG Greenough , FM Burkle Jr. Hunger strikers: ethical and legal dimensions of medical complicity in torture at Guantanamo Bay. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2013;28(6):1-9

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