From Nuremberg to Guantanamo Bay: Uses of Physicians in the War on Terror

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Abstract

ABSTRACT

Seventy years after the Nuremberg Doctors' Trial, health professionals and lawyers working together after 9/11 played a critical role in designing, justifying, and carrying out the US state-sponsored torture program in the CIA “Black Sites” and US military detention centers, including Abu Ghraib, Bagram, and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

We analyze the similarities between the Nazi doctors and health professionals in the War on Terror and address the question of how it happened that health professionals, including doctors, psychologists, physician assistants, and nurses, acted as agents of the state to utilize their medical and healing skills to cause harm and sanitize barbarous acts, similar to (though not on the scale of) how Nazi doctors were used by the Third Reich.

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