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And Now For Something Completely Negative...

1. xymonau1 February 2010, 12:14 GMT +01:00

Call me crazy, but I cannot believe a discussion like the following is even considered normal, let alone published in the British Medical Journal, and treated as something that deserves attention. Has the world taken something hallucinogenic? Or have we merely lost our sense of humanity and decency?

"Psychologists and psychiatrists should not be expected to participate in torture as they do not have the expertise to assess individual pain or the long-term effects of interrogation, says an expert on bmj.com today.
The authors, Derrick Silove and Susan Rees, from the University of New South Wales in Australia, say some senior members of the US military have argued that a psychologist%u2019s presence is necessary to protect the prisoner or detainee from the "severe physical or mental pain or suffering resulting in prolonged mental harm."
They add that several leading scientific journals have also published papers by authors who support the presence of mental health professionals as protection for detainees.
But the authors believe that there is no established marker to assess "xtreme experiences that cause pain or psychological trauma" and do not believe it is possible for professionals "to make accurate assessments of the level of pain or mental trauma being experienced by the detainee."
They maintain that it can be "notoriously difficult" to assess how much distress a detainee is experiencing. Indeed, there is evidence that "militants who are ideologically prepared may show greater resilience when tortured."
There is extensive research, they argue, that torture causes long-term mental health problems. However, "we do not yet have the scientific knowledge to predict with any precision what the psychological outcome will be for an individual."
The authors conclude that having spent years trying to reveal the damaging effects of torture, it would be ironic if health professionals were called upon to use their skills to participate in this practice."

2. weirdvis1 February 2010, 12:29 GMT +01:00

If you saw the the grossly negligent, inhumane practices prevalent in some British hospitals you wouldn't be so surprised.

3. xymonau1 February 2010, 14:38 GMT +01:00

I don't think I'm surprised. I think I'm appalled. Yes, I was a nurse, and hospitals everywhere leave much to be desired, even if they mean well. But I've met so many drug addicted and alcoholic nurses in my work that I never feel safe in hospitals any more.

4. lennie2 February 2010, 23:34 GMT +01:00

I don't hold the doctors to any higher standard, but they are all humanbeings. But this stuff about torture goes way beyond that.

5. krayker3 February 2010, 3:29 GMT +01:00

@2. weirdvis
I guess its everywhere. I know some fantastic places nearby my place and also some rotten ones. Especially, being in a populous country like India - you can see it all, the respect for human life isn't just there. Also, with news, TV, twitter and other media, we know that everything spreads fast - news, ideas, crimes as well!

we live in testing times.

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