Interrogations, Forced Feedings, and the Role of Health Professionals: New Perspectives on International Human Rights, Humanitarian Law, and Ethics

Interrogations, Forced Feedings, and the Role of Health Professionals: New Perspectives on International Human Rights, Humanitarian Law, and Ethics

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Overview

The involvement of health professionals in human rights and humanitarian law violations has again become a live issue as a consequence of the U.S. prosecution of conflicts with al Qaeda, the Taliban, and Iraq. Health professionals-including MDs trained in psychiatry and PhDs trained in behavioral psychology-have reportedly advised and assisted in coercive interrogation. Health professionals have also been involved in forced feedings. Such practices would not be unique to the United States nor the most extreme forms of abuse in the world. The direct involvement of medical professionals in torture, covering up extrajudicial killings, and other extreme conduct is a phenomenon common to many societies and periods of national crisis. Indeed, the widespread and repeated nature of this problem has led to the development of important legal and ethical codes on the subject. Those codes, however, are notoriously insufficient in many cases. A reexamination of the international norms, as developed in human rights law, humanitarian law, and professional ethics can shed light on these issues. However, in addition to those instruments, the struggle to end such violations requires understanding human behavior and the role of formal and informal institutional pressures. In this volume, a wide range of prominent practitioners and scholars explore these issues. Their insights provide significant potential for reforming institutions to assist health professionals maintain their legal and ethical obligations in times of national crisis.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780979639524
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 05/31/2009
Series: International Human Rights Program Practice Series , #1
Pages: 228
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Ryan Goodman is Rita E. Hauser Professor of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law and Director of the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School.

Mindy Roseman is Lecturer on Law and Academic Director of the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School.

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