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article imageManning’s military doctors accused of violating ‘ethical duties’

By Lynn Herrmann     Mar 16, 2011 in Politics
Cambridge - A group of human rights doctors have questioned the “ethical duties” of military psychiatrists who allow the continued torture of Pvt. Bradley Manning, held at Quantico Brig and charged with releasing embarrassing government records to Wikileaks.
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), a leading group of US doctors, has joined in the chorus of voices calling for an end to the cruel and inhumane treatment the US government is subjecting Manning to, held in solitary confinement at Quantico.
Manning is allegedly now forced to strip each night and his clothes are returned each morning, is checked every five minutes, and is confined to his cell 23 hours per day.
The fact that Manning’s psychiatrists are allowing the degrading treatment to continue is central to PHR’s efforts in the matter.
“Even if they do not officially approve it, by continuing to examine him and report back to the government on his condition, they are effectively taking part in security operations. Their failure to call it what it is – cruel and inhumane treatment – constitutes a violation of their ethical duties as doctors,” said Christy Fujio, the author of an upcoming report on the issue of dual loyalties, according to the Guardian.
The most recent fallout over the growing controversy over Manning’s treatment by the US military, an extension of the Obama administration, came on Friday when State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley was forced to resign over comments he made on Manning’s treatment.
Speaking to a small MIT audience regarding social media, Crowley responded to a question regarding the torture of a prisoner in a military brig, stating Manning’s treatment “is ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid.”
Susan McNamara, a doctor with the PHR group who deals with torture victims from other countries, said Manning’s treatment is a continuation of tactics used by against terror suspects at Guantanamo.
“That is a huge problem, as it is designed to break a person down psychologically. Solitary confinement is a form of sensory deprivation, and if you are depriving a person of the human contact they need that can amount to torture,” McNamara said, the Guardian notes.
“In the US, if a patient was treated in a psychiatric hospital in the same way the military is treating Mannng, the federal government would stamp all over it --- [it] is disobeying its own rules,” she added.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich has repeatedly been given the runaround by the military over his efforts to visit Manning, noting the treatment “raises serious questions about our criminal justice process,” according to an interview he gave with KPFK in Los Angeles.
President Barack Obama is on record stating he has been “assured” that Manning’s treatment is justified.
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