Doctors as Pawns? Law and Medical Ethics at Guantanamo Bay

21 Pages Posted: 2 May 2007

See all articles by Jonathan H. Marks

Jonathan H. Marks

Harvard University - Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics; Pennsylvania State University


This article (based on a paper presented at the Seton Hall Law School Guantanamo Teach-In/Conference in October 2006) explores the relationship between law and medical ethics through the lens of detainee abuse at Guantanamo Bay. It describes the U.S. Administration's exercises in legal exceptionalism - designed to limit or disapply international legal protections for detainees in the war on terror - and makes a case for robust ethics codes governing the participation of a variety of health professionals in interrogation scenarios. The article also critiques recent ethical position statements adopted by the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association.

Keywords: international law, laws of war, human rights, medical ethics, professional ethics

JEL Classification: K33, K32, K39, I18, I19

Suggested Citation

Marks, Jonathan H., Doctors as Pawns? Law and Medical Ethics at Guantanamo Bay. Seton Hall Law Review, Vol. 37, pp. 711-731, 2007. Available at SSRN:

Jonathan H. Marks (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics ( email )

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Pennsylvania State University ( email )

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