Thursday, January 06, 2005

Hippocratic oafs

Howard Zinn on the Daily Show tonight.

The WaPo article on the participation by military doctors in torture sessions in Guantanamo buries the money quote, from deputy assistant secretary of defense David Tornberg, that such doctors are acting as combatants and therefore are not obligated by the Hippocratic oath, and that there is no doctor-patient relationship. (The Post also neglects to say that Tornberg is himself a doctor.) Even if doctors could ever be absolved of their ethical obligations by virtue of being “combatants,” Guantanamo was not a combat zone. See the New England Journal of Medicine article.

And the LA Times, in an article rightly pointing out that only a fraction of the money pledged by nations after a disaster is actual delivered, fails to ask the obvious question: what’s the US record?

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