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Oath Betrayed

America’s Torture Doctors

Steven H. Miles M.D. (Author)

Not available in "Korea, Democratic People's Republic of", "Korea, Republic of", Lebanon

Paperback, 312 pages
ISBN: 9780520259683
April 2009
$26.95, £18.95
The news that the United States tortured prisoners in the war on terror has brought shame to the nation, yet little has been written about the doctors and psychologists at these prisons. In Oath Betrayed, medical ethics expert and physician Steven H. Miles tells how doctors, psychologists, and medics cleared prisoners for interrogation, advised and monitored abuse, falsified documents—including death certificates—and were largely silent as the scandal unfolded. This updated and expanded paperback edition gives newly uncovered details about the policies that engage clinicians in torture. It discusses the ongoing furor over psychologists' participating in interrogations. Most explosively this new edition shows how interrogation psychologists may have moved from information-gathering to coercive experiments, warning all of us about a new direction in U.S. policy and military medicine—a direction that not so long ago was unthinkable.
Steven H. Miles is Professor of Medicine at the University of Minnesota Medical School, a member of its Center for Bioethics, and a practicing physician. He is the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award of the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities.
“Painstaking . . . path-breaking accounts of the self-degradation of health professions.”—Nat Hentoff The Bemidji Pioneer
“Systematically and compellingly details the myriad of instances in which US doctors, nurses, and other health professionals have collaborated with the purveyors of the “war on terror” to violate not only the Hippocratic Oath, the professional ethical strictures, and the Geneva Conventions.”—Human Rights Qtly
“For every incident of torture by U.S. soldiers in the “war on terror,” there are doctors and psychologists overseeing the prisoners, in effect advising on the abuse and often falsifying documents. Medical ethicist Miles investigates the phenomenon and the medical personnel who implement it.”—Toronto Globe & Mail
“The Hippocratic Oath states that doctors should consider first the health of the patient and never do physical harm. Given that at least a dozen prisoners -- and likely more -- have died by homicide in military prisons this decade, many have wondered how often doctors monitored torturous interrogations without intervening, as was mandated by designers of the interrogation program. . . . Oath Betrayed: America's Torture Doctors, describes widespread medical abuses and cover-ups in U.S. military prisons.”—Huffington Post
“The new, updated edition reworks the original subtitle (”Torture, Medical Complicity, and the War on Terror”), delves into whether psychologists used interrogations to perform coercive experiments and provides a handy guide for book groups.”—Twin Cities Daily Planet
“[An interrogation] log records the themes and approaches used by interrogators and [prisoner] Al-Khatani's emotional and verbal responses to them, an experiment-like design that bioethicist Steven Miles, in an interview, called an "outside of the park violation" of the Nuremberg Code on research ethics, which was established in response to the Nazis' infamous experimentation on humans. (The newly released edition of Miles' book "Oath Betrayed" discusses this aspect of the al-Khatani interrogation.)”—Salon.com
“Miles asks. . . how [the American Psychological Association] came to give a platform to ‘senior Department of Defense officials who were intimately involved in the support, protection, and implementation of corrupted interrogation standards.’”—Firedoglake
[Miles] observes [that] the military appeared to be using physicians and psychologists to test the reactions of detainees to particular interrogation techniques, which may well violate ethical bans on experimentation on human subjects.”—Washington Independent
"This, quite simply, is the most devastating and detailed investigation into a question that has remained a no-no in the current debate on American torture in George Bush's war on terror: the role of military physicians, nurses and other medical personnel. Dr. Miles writes in a white rage, with great justification—but he lets the facts tell the story."—Seymour M. Hersh

"Steven Miles has written exactly the book we require on medical complicity in torture. His admirable combination of scholarship and moral passion does great service to the medical profession and to our country."—Robert Jay Lifton, author of The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide and Home from the War: Vietnam Veterans - Neither Victims nor Executioners
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Trailer for "Doctors of the Dark Side", a documentary that exposes the scandal behind the torture scandal and includes interviews with author Steven Miles.

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