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A Question of Conscience

A Question of Conscience ACCOUNTS of torture and other human rights abuses reach us daily through the news media. Amnesty International, the recipient of the 1977 Nobel peace prize for its human rights efforts, reports that in the past four years alone governments in one third of the world's countries have systematically practiced or tacitly condoned torture or ill-treatment to interrogate, punish, and intimidate political opponents. The techniques they use may include electric shock, prolonged beatings, sham executions, sensory and sleep deprivation, cigarette burns, water submersion, and, more recently, mind-altering drugs.1 For the victims—whether imprisoned in a secret detention center in Santiago or in a special psychiatric hospital in Moscow—such brutality knows no ideology because its goal is the same: to silence dissent through the destruction of healthy bodies and minds. The problem of torture should be a concern of medical professionals worldwide for several reasons.2 First, torture defies the most fundamental http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png JAMA American Medical Association

A Question of Conscience

JAMA , Volume 255 (20) – May 23, 1986

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Publisher
American Medical Association
Copyright
Copyright © 1986 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.
ISSN
0098-7484
eISSN
1538-3598
DOI
10.1001/jama.1986.03370200096035
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

ACCOUNTS of torture and other human rights abuses reach us daily through the news media. Amnesty International, the recipient of the 1977 Nobel peace prize for its human rights efforts, reports that in the past four years alone governments in one third of the world's countries have systematically practiced or tacitly condoned torture or ill-treatment to interrogate, punish, and intimidate political opponents. The techniques they use may include electric shock, prolonged beatings, sham executions, sensory and sleep deprivation, cigarette burns, water submersion, and, more recently, mind-altering drugs.1 For the victims—whether imprisoned in a secret detention center in Santiago or in a special psychiatric hospital in Moscow—such brutality knows no ideology because its goal is the same: to silence dissent through the destruction of healthy bodies and minds. The problem of torture should be a concern of medical professionals worldwide for several reasons.2 First, torture defies the most fundamental

Journal

JAMAAmerican Medical Association

Published: May 23, 1986

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