November 9, 2013 Comments Off on Military, CIA Required Docs to Aid Torture, Rape Laws Offer Little Protection
Military, CIA Required Docs to Aid Torture
Nov 8, 2013 By Chris Kaiser
Since Sept. 11, 2001, military and intelligence health professionals have participated in the abuse and torture of suspected terrorists held in prisons outside the U.S., a comprehensive new report said.
And they did so because the Department of Defense (DoD) and the CIA “required [them] to act contrary to their professional obligations,” according to the report.
Those are two of eight findings included in the 200-page report, “Ethics Abandoned: Medical Professionalism and Detainee Abuse in the War on Terror.” The report is based on 2 years of review of records in the public domain by the 19-member Task Force on Preserving Medical Professionalism in National Security Detention Centers….
Medical, Military, and Ethics Experts Say Health Professionals Designed and Participated in Cruel, Inhumane, and Degrading Treatment and Torture of Detainees; Seek Policies To Assure Conformance With Ethical Principles
New York, NY — An independent panel of military, ethics, medical, public health, and legal experts today charged that U.S. military and intelligence agencies directed doctors and psychologists working in U.S. military detention centers to violate standard ethical principles and medical standards to avoid infliction of harm. The Task Force on Preserving Medical Professionalism in National Security Detention Centers (see attached) concludes that since September 11, 2001, the Department of Defense (DoD) and CIA improperly demanded that U.S. military and intelligence agency health professionals collaborate in intelligence gathering and security practices in a way that inflicted severe harm on detainees in U.S. custody.
These practices included “designing, participating in, and enabling torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment” of detainees, according to the report. Although the DoD has taken steps to address some of these practices in recent years, including instituting a committee to review medical ethics concerns at Guantanamo Bay Prison, the Task Force says the changed roles for health professionals and anemic ethical standards adopted within the military remain in place….
Ethics Abandoned: Medical Professionalism and Detainee Abuse in the “War on Terror” A task force report funded
by IMAP/OSF November 2013 Institute on Medicine As A Profession Columbia University, College of Physicians and surgeons 630 West 168th street P&S Box 11, New York, NY 10032
The 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United states resulted in U.S. government- approved harsh treatment and torture of detainees suspected of having information about terrorism.1 Military and intelligence-agency physicians and other health professionals, particularly psychologists, became involved in the design and administration of that harsh treatment and torture—in clear conflict with established international and national professional principles and laws.2
In 2010, the institute on Medicine as a Profession (IMAP) and the open society Foundations convened the task Force on Preserving Medical Professionalism in national security detention centers (Task Force) to examine what is known about the involvement of health professionals in infliction of torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment of detainees in U.S. custody and how such deviation from professional standards and ethically proper conduct occurred, including actions that were taken by the U.S. department of defense (dod) and the ciA to direct this conduct….
The Task Force has determined that actions taken by the U.S. government immediately following 9/11 included three key elements affecting the role of health professionals in detention centers:
1. The declaration that as part of a “war on terror,” individuals captured and detained in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and elsewhere were “unlawful combatants” who did not qualify as prisoners of war under the Geneva conventions. Additionally, the U.S. department of Justice approved of interrogation methods recognized domestically and internationally as constituting torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment.
2. The DOD and CIA’s development of internal mechanisms to direct the participation of military and intelligence-agency physicians and psychologists in abusive interrogation and breaking of hunger strikes. Although the involvement of health professionals in human rights violations against detainees progressed differently in the military and the CIA, both facilitated that involvement in similar ways, including undermining health professionals’ allegiances to established principles of professional ethics and conduct through reinterpretation of those principles.
3. The secrecy surrounding detention policies that prevailed until 2004–2005, when leaked documents began to reveal those policies. secrecy allowed the unlawful and unethical interrogation and mistreatment of detainees to proceed unfettered by established ethical principles and standards of conduct as well as societal, professional, and nongovernmental commentary and legal review.
Rape Laws Offer Little Protection
Nov 8, 2013 By Rita Buckley , Contributing Writer, MedPage Today
Since 2000, the United Nations Security Council has issued nine sexual-violence-related resolutions to seemingly little effect. One in three women worldwide have still been raped or sexually assaulted, and 65 countries report more than 250,000 rapes and attempted rapes to the United Nations each year.
These figures don’t even account for the vast majority of rapes, which go unreported, Akiyode continued. A 2007 government document in England found that between 75% and 95% of rapes will never come to light, and the American Medical Association calls rape the single most under-reported violent crime.
In many nations, rape is rarely reported due to social stigma and cultural norms and traditions, such as ‘honor killings’ of victims, she pointed out. According to the United Nations, 2008 rape figures recorded by police worldwide varied between 0.1 per 100,000 in Egypt to 26.6 per 100,000 in the United States to 91.6 per 100,000 in Lesotho.
In the U.S., one in three American women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime, Akiyode told MedPage Today, adding that women are 10 times more likely than men to be victims of rape and nine times more likely than non-victims to attempt suicide.
Nor is the situation improving, she said. In Nigeria, only 18% or so of rape victims contact police. Egypt’s interior ministry claim of 20,000 rapes each year (or 0.1 rapes per 100,000 individuals) is belied by conservative estimates of 200,000 annual rapes….
June 15, 2013 Comments Off on What Do We Know about the Class of 2013? Pennsylvania: Priest and Ex-Teacher Get Prison for Abuse
What Do We Know about the High School Class of 2013?
By James R. Marsh on June 13, 2013
This just out from Child Trends; some fascinating and sobering statistics about the high school class of 2013.
BETHESDA, MD — June 11, 2013 — Imagine a senior class of 100. They’re the product of their genetic predispositions, their families, their communities, and all of the opportunities (or lack of opportunities) they’ve encountered since birth. They’ve made both good choices and not-so-good ones. They’re on the threshold of adulthood. But what do we really know about them and what does their future hold?
Child Trends, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research center on children and youth issues, examined a range of available statistics to provide this portrait of the high school class of 2013:
….71 have experienced physical assault; 28 have been victimized sexually; 32 have experienced some form of child maltreatment.
…. 39 have ever been bullied, physically or emotionally; 16 have been bullied in the past year.
….22 are living in poverty; 10 are living in deep poverty.
…. 10 report they were victims of dating violence in the past year.
10 report they have been raped
…..3 were victims of violent crime in the past year….
Pennsylvania: Priest and Ex-Teacher Get Prison for Abuse
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS June 13, 2013
Exceeding sentencing guidelines, a judge on Wednesday gave prison terms to a Roman Catholic priest and a former teacher in a sexual abuse case that brought down a Philadelphia church official. The priest, the Rev. Charles Engelhardt of Wynnewood, and the former teacher, Bernard Shero of Levittown, maintained their innocence, and the judge threw out the most serious conviction against Father Engelhardt for lack of evidence. Still, Father Engelhardt, 66, who had not previously been accused of abusing children, was sentenced to 6 to 12 years in prison. Mr. Shero, convicted of rape, was sentenced to 8 to 16 years….