Ending Medical Complicity in State-Sponsored Torture

The Lancet, October 2011, Vol. 378

3 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2016

See all articles by Steven Hoffman

Steven Hoffman

York University; Harvard University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 29, 2011


Despite its clear illegality, state-sponsored torture is currently practiced in over 100 countries, including 14 of the G20 nations. While this trend is troubling in general, the complicity of physicians in this practice is even more disturbing because it legitimizes the practice. Some controversial means of torture, such as waterboarding, have only been declared legal in the United States because of medical supervision. Current means of deterring torture by punishing states has proved ineffective, and a better policy option might be holding individual physicians responsible for their ethical breaches in monitoring, supervising, and even designing torture procedures.

Keywords: torture, doctor, complicit, controversial, illegal, deterring, deterrance, physician, legitimatize, illegitimate, state-sponsored

Suggested Citation

Hoffman, Steven, Ending Medical Complicity in State-Sponsored Torture (October 29, 2011). The Lancet, October 2011, Vol. 378. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2725729

Steven Hoffman (Contact Author)

York University ( email )

Global Strategy Lab
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HOME PAGE: http://www.globalstrategylab.org/people/steven-hoffman

Harvard University ( email )

Department of Global Health & Population
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Boston, MA 02115
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/steven-hoffman/

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