The recently released report on CIA torture exposes the evil acts carried out in the name of national security despite the fact these abuses did not result in actionable information.
One particular atrocity was health care providers using their knowledge and skills to aid in torturing prisoners, some of whom were later found to be innocent of any crime. These health care providers healed wounds only so they could be reopened; provided callous expert medical opinions on the psychological effects of sleep deprivation; and recommended specific saline solutions, which contain electrolytes, to be used in water boarding to keep the prisoners from suffering electrolyte depletion as their bodies were flooded with water.
As health care professionals, we should be united in renouncing our peers and government from using our knowledge and skills to aid in torture. We should use this report, and the low point of America’s and its health professionals’ standing in the world, to make changes to ensure we work to improve people’s health and denounce those who enrich themselves on other people’s suffering.