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Doctors' duty during armed conflict
Quote:World Medical Association amends its policy on doctors' duty during armed conflict

]Jeanne Lenzer

Copyright and License information â–º

The World Medical Association (WMA) announced on 9 October that it is amending its policy on physicians' behaviour in times of armed conflict to emphasise that
"medical ethics in times of armed conflict are identical to medical ethics in times of peace." [bolding MH]
The amendments were endorsed without opposition by delegates in attendance at the association's General Assembly in Tokyo earlier this month. Endorsers included representatives of the United States and the United Kingdom.
The amendments come on the heels of a report in the Lancet by Steven H. Miles (Lancet 2004; 364: 725-9) a physician and bioethicist, who found US medical personnel were complicit with "abuses of detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay" and that a physician and psychiatrist "helped design, approve, and monitor interrogations at Abu Ghraib." Dr Miles concluded that the abuses were the result of a "military command that was inattentive to human rights."
The Department of Defense took "strong exception" to the allegations.
The WMA's recent action affirms its policy that it is "unethical for physicians to give advice or perform procedures that are not justifiable for the patient's health care or that weaken the physical or mental strength of a human being without therapeutic justification."
"As a human being it was extremely disheartening to be faced with news of the abuses [in Iraq] and then to see that medical professionals were complicit with this," said Dr Arthur Derse, emergency physician and president-elect of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities (ASBH). "The WMA is absolutely right, ethics don't change because you are in the military. Doctors don't get training in how to behave in a military zone. We need to teach this to our medical students."
The society sent a letter to President George W. Bush on 2 August asking for an investigation into the role of medical personnel in the reported abuses. Citing a number of international and national codes of ethics, the society charged that "if health professionals became aware that abuse of detainees was occurring, then ordering them to perform monitoring or clearance functions designed to allow this to continue would be a direct violation of…numerous ethical standards."
Dr Derse told the BMJ that the society does not take positions on political issues but that "This goes right to the heart of what it is to be a physician."
The World Medical Association seeks to address the problem of "dual loyalty" in which "requests or orders by the police or military to take part in practices that violate fundamental human rights, such as torture" compete with the physician's primary responsibility to his or her patient. In its 2003 resolution on the responsibility of physicians in the denunciation of acts of torture or cruel or inhuman or degrading treatment of which they are aware, the WMA provided guidance for doctors on handling and reporting torture and abuse.
The WMA amendments were initiated by the BMA about 12 to 18 months ago, according to a spokesperson for the WMA who told the BMJ , "The amendments are not specifically related to Iraq but represent a more general concern in light of all the conflicts around globe."

Just thought I'd post the above as a response to this:

Quote:A former Army doctor's career lay in ruins today after he was struck off the medical register over the death of Iraqi detainee Baha Mousa.
Dr Derek Keilloh, 38, a respected family GP, was left "extremely disappointed" by the decision of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS), at the conclusion of a marathon 47-day hearing in Manchester.The father of two did "everything possible" to save Mr Mousa's life - but then claimed not to have seen evidence of the severe beating he took at the hands of fellow soldiers.Mr Mousa's father, Colonel Daoud Mousa, said: "I wanted the doctor to be banned for life. He did not have humanity in his heart when he was supposed to be caring for my son. He did not do his job properly."Now a popular and "conscientious" family doctor, Dr Keilloh was the medic in charge who supervised a failed resuscitation attempt on Mr Mousa, who had been hooded, handcuffed and severely beaten by soldiers after his arrest as a suspected insurgent in war-torn Basra in September 2003.Dr Keilloh, then a captain and regimental medical officer of the 1st Battalion, Queen's Lancashire Regiment (1QLR), claimed later that he saw only dried blood around the nose of Mr Mousa, 26, while giving mouth-to-mouth and CPR.His body swollen and bruised, Mr Mousa, a father of two, had suffered 93 separate injuries, including fractured ribs and a broken nose.An innocent hotel receptionist, he was arrested in an Army crackdown by soldiers who believed, wrongly, that he was an insurgent involved in the murder of four of their colleagues the month before.The MPTS found Dr Keilloh guilty of misconduct following Mr Mousa's death and announced "with regret" the only "appropriate sanction" was banning him from working as a doctor.An online petition and support from patients and fellow doctors now working with Dr Keilloh failed to save his job, despite him being described in glowing terms.Dr Alderman, chair of the MPTS panel, said this was an "unfortunate case" and Dr Keilloh had been described as an excellent doctor but an "unambiguous signal" must be sent out about "conduct unbefitting a doctor".The panel heard that at the time of Mr Mousa's death, Dr Keilloh was aged 28, eight weeks into the job, an inexperienced and inadequately-trained young medic, given little supervision or support by the QLR, which was fighting a growing insurgency in the chaotic and lawless sprawling southern city in Iraq.The MPTS recognised Dr Keilloh, now a GP at Mayford House Surgery in Northallerton, North Yorkshire, worked in a "highly charged, chaotic, tense and stressful" situation.But they ruled he must have seen the injuries and, especially as a doctor, had a duty to act.They questioned his honesty and "probity" after he lied to Army investigators about the injuries and, in sticking to his story, giving evidence in subsequent courts martial and a public inquiry.The MPTS also said Dr Keilloh, knowing of Mr Mousa's injuries and sudden death, did not do enough to protect his patients, the other detainees, from further mistreatment - breaking a "fundamental tenet" of the medical profession.Dr Keilloh took up his post in Basra in July 2003, with the city falling apart as over-stretched British soldiers tried to fill the vacuum left by the collapse of Saddam Hussein's police state.Mr Mousa was dead within 36 hours of his arrest by 1QLR soldiers after a swoop against insurgents in the city on September 14, 2003.Ahmed Al Matairi, who was also detained and beaten, described hearing the final words of Mr Mousa, a widower, as he was beaten.He said: "I am innocent. Blood! Blood! I am going to die. My children are going to become orphans."Dr Jim Rodger, medical adviser at the Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland, said: "Dr Keilloh is extremely disappointed at the decision of this Fitness to Practise Panel and he will need time to consider the implications of this erasure and his future course of action."He would like to say how much he appreciated the wealth of support he has received from his family, patients, colleagues and friends."Dr Keilloh, who qualified in medicine at the University of Aberdeen, has 28 days to appeal against the decision in the High Court to save his career.

Phil Shiner, of Public Interest Lawyers, said: "The medical profession is well rid of such a man. All those UK doctors in Iraq who also saw signs of ill-treatment of Iraqi detainees but took no action had best start to instruct lawyers."

The 'Professional Associations' have been way too quiet over all of these abuses by their many members. Facilitating torture is not a part of medical practice or any other kind.

"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.

Messages In This Thread
Doctors' duty during armed conflict - by Magda Hassan - 17-01-2013, 03:42 AM

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