Guantanamo detainees' medical care
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Separate facilities exist to provide for Guantanamo detainees' medical care.
A 2013 Institute on Medicine as a Profession report concluded that health professionals working with the military and intelligence services "designed and participated in cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment and torture of detainees". Medical professionals were ordered to ignore ethical standards during involvement in abusive interrogation, including monitoring of vital signs under stress-inducing procedures. They used medical information for interrogation purposes and participated in force-feeding of hunger strikers, in violation of World Medical Association and American Medical Association prohibitions.
A series of hospitals, dental clinics and psychiatric facilities have been prepared for Guantanamo detainees. On June 7, 2010, the Washington Post reported, after obtaining the first official figures for capital costs of the Guantanamo camps to be made public, that the current hospital building cost $18.2 million USD, and a companion psychiatric facility cost 2.9 million USD.
Military spokesmen have routinely asserted that the detainees receive excellent medical care. Documentary film director Michael Moore used these claims as a central meme in his film Sicko to argue that American citizens should receive better medical care. Former detainees on the other hand have described medical care being withheld at the command of interrogators, in order to coerce detainees to confess. Critics have described the use of the detainees' medical files by interrogators as a violation of medical ethics. Critics have expressed concern that medical personnel violated their professional ethics by aiding in or failing to report the wounds inflicted during interrogations that used prohibited techniques.
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The existence and quality of the medical care and dental care, at Guantanamo, has been the subject of public disagreement. After viewing Andy Worthington's film, Witness to Guantanamo, which compiled interviews with former captives, law professor Peter Jan Honigsberg wrote that the captives said dental care was dispensed at the discretion of the captives' interrogators. He wrote "Some prisoners who expected to have cavities filled, had their teeth pulled instead." Jane Mayer, writing in The New Yorker quoted Rob Kirsch, who represented six Bosnians, who also said dental care was routinely withheld by their interrogators. After a visit to Guantanamo Congressional Representative William Lacy Clay asserted that many Guantanamo captives received dental care for the first time in Guantanamo. He asked "did Hitler and Pol Pot provide dental care to their prisoners before they killed them?" In her book, Kristine Huskey, one of the lawyers at the Center for Constitutional Rights, which was coordinating the captives' habeas corpus petitions, quoted a motion the Center filed, that described the captives' dental care as inadequate.
In a July 2009 interview Commander Kenneth Bell said that it took several times longer to treat captives as it did to treat guards, for similar dental procedures, because captives didn't understand why the dental procedures were in the interest of their health. He said dental procedures were never performed on the captives, without their consent.
- Williams, Carol J. (2013-11-04). "Military, CIA compelled medics to abuse detainees, report says". Los Angeles Times.
- Scott Higham; Peter Finn (2010-06-07). "At least $500 million has been spent on Guantánamo Bay renovations". Seattle Times. Retrieved 2010-06-07.
The Pentagon spent $18.2 million on a prison hospital and $2.9 million on a psychiatric ward next door. The ward has 12 beds housed inside an elongated metal trailer-like building with reflective-glass windows and a small sign that reads "Behavioral Health Unit." The military would not permit Post reporters to look inside the facility, citing patient confidentiality.
- Gerry J. Gilmore (October 27, 2005). "Medical Professionals Leave Guantanamo With New Impressions". American Forces Press Service.
- Kathleen T. Rhem (July 8, 2005). "Military Medics Saw Few Signs of Detainee Abuse". American Forces Press Service.
- Kathleen T. Rhem (June 16, 2005). "DoD Issues Guidance for Medical Personnel Dealing With Detainees". American Forces Press Service.
- Presenter: Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, Steve Jones and Army Surgeon General and Commander U.S. Army Medical Command, Lt. Gen. Kevin C. Kiley (July 7, 2005). "Special Defense Department Briefing".
- Kathleen T. Rhem (July 13, 2005). "Alleged Guantanamo Abuse Did Not Rise to Level of 'Inhumane'". American Forces Press Service.
- Kathleen T. Rhem (December 9, 2005). "GTMO feedings humane, within medical care standards" (PDF). 6 (36). The Wire (JTF-GTMO). p. 3. Retrieved February 22, 2008.[permanent dead link]
- Ronald Sollock (July 6, 2007). "The best & the brightest" (PDF). 7 (19). The Wire (JTF-GTMO). p. 2. Retrieved 2008-02-22. DoD URL[permanent dead link]
- Kathleen T. Rhem (December 9, 2005). "15 Minutes of Fame... with HM2 Felipe Rodriguez Joint Task Force Joint Aid Station Locked and cocked "Devil Doc"" (PDF). 3 (19). The Wire (JTF-GTMO). p. 12. Retrieved 2008-02-22.[dead link]
- Cpl. Jim Greenhill (Oct 22, 2004). "Corpsmen Radiate Pride for Service Inside the Wire" (PDF). 5 (17). The Wire (JTF-GTMO). p. 11. Retrieved 2008-02-22.
Navy Hospitalman "Red" Stewart sets up oxygen at the clinic at Camp Delta. The clinic provides detainees with the same standard of care received by Troopers.[dead link]
- "Uncle Sam Probes Michael Moore (Treasury Department investigating director's unauthorized Cuba trip)". thesmokinggun.com. Retrieved May 11, 2007.
- "Michael Moore In Trouble For Cuba Trip (Treasury Investigation; Moore Took Sept. 11 Workers To Banned Island For Treatment)". www.michaelmoore.com. Retrieved May 14, 2007.
- "Moore fears film seizure after Cuba trip". www.reuters.com. Reuters. 2007-06-11. Retrieved July 11, 2007.
- "U.S. officials may subpoena filmmaker Moore". www.reuters.com. Reuters. 2007-07-27. Retrieved July 29, 2007.
- "PHR report: CIA personnel engaged in human experimentation". Salon magazine. 2010-06-07. Retrieved 2010-06-07.
According to PHR's investigation, the CIA conducted experiments monitoring sleep deprivation for up to 180 hours and experimented with waterboarding by adding saline to water to avoid killing detainees or rendering them comatose.
- Scott Shane (2008-07-02). "China Inspired Interrogations at Guantánamo". New York Times.
- Maggie Fox (2005-06-24). "US medical ethics at Guantanamo criticized: Interrogators used health records, specialists allege". Boston Globe.
Military interrogators at the US naval prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, may have breached medical privacy and encouraged doctors to violate professional and legal standards, two specialists on medical ethics said in The New England Journal of Medicine yesterday.
- Matthew Davis (2005-06-24). "Guantanamo doctors under attack". BBC News.
The Pentagon said no inquiry had produced "credible evidence" physicians had taken part in the "inhumane treatment of detainees". But it admitted "behavioural science consultants" were helping interrogators exploit prisoners' weaknesses. The news comes amid fresh concern over possible violations of medical ethics.
- Neil A. Lewis (2005-06-24). "Interrogators Cite Doctors' Aid at Guantánamo Prison Camp". New York Times.
Military doctors at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, have aided interrogators in conducting and refining coercive interrogations of detainees, including providing advice on how to increase stress levels and exploit fears, according to new, detailed accounts given by former interrogators.
- Anjana Ahuja (2006-06-26). "The Guantanamo suicides reopen a festering question of medical ethics". London: The Times.
- Neil A. Lewis (2004-11-30). "Red Cross Finds Detainee Abuse in Guantánamo". New York Times.
Doctors and medical personnel conveyed information about prisoners' mental health and vulnerabilities to interrogators, the report said, sometimes directly, but usually through a group called the Behavioral Science Consultation Team, or B.S.C.T. The team, known informally as Biscuit, is composed of psychologists and psychological workers who advise the interrogators, the report said.
- "Do No Harm? Gitmo Medics Violated Ethics". CBS News. 2009-04-07.
Medical professionals who monitored CIA interrogations at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility violated medical ethics, the International Committee of the Red Cross said in a report disclosed Monday.
- JTF-GTMO (2007-03-16). "Measurements of Heights and Weights of Individuals Detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba". Department of Defense. Archived from the original on 2009-01-25. Retrieved 2008-12-22.
- Sonia Saini; Almerindo Ojeda. "Heights, weights, and in-processing dates" (PDF). Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas. Archived from the original on 2009-12-21.
- "Measurements of Heights and Weights of Individuals Detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (ordered and consolidated version)" (PDF). Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas, from DoD data. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-12-21.
- Andy Worthington (2009). "Starvation statistics" (PDF). Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-12-21.
- Peter Jan Honigsberg (2009-09-09). "The Witness to Guantanamo Project: In-Depth Filmed Interviews of Former Guantanamo Detainees". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2010-10-13.
Any detainee who wanted medical care needed to go through his interrogator. One man refused to ask for dental work because he did not want to ask a favor from his interrogator. Some prisoners who expected to have cavities filled, had their teeth pulled instead.
- Jane Mayer (2005-07-11). "The Experiment". New Yorker magazine. Retrieved 2010-10-13.
All six of Kirsch's clients have requested dental care to no avail. One client's teeth were so damaged that he was unable to eat regular food; after dental treatment was withheld, the prisoner requested a soft-food diet, which tasted so bad that he lost forty pounds.
- William Lacy Clay (2005-06-24). "Congressional Record for 2005-06-24". Congressional Record. p. 14276. Retrieved 2010-10-13.
Again, I ask my colleagues, did Hitler and Pol Pot provide dental care to their prisoners before they killed them? And the terrorists are not being held without a review process. Each person brought to Guantanamo is reviewed ...
- Kristine Huskey, Aleigh Acerni (2009). Justice at Guantanamo: One Woman's Odyssey and Her Crusade for Human Rights. Globe Pequot. p. 198. ISBN 978-1-59921-468-9. Retrieved 2010-10-13.
In our motion we again described their current lives: The lack of reading materials and exercise, the isolation, the extremely bright lights focused on their cells for twenty-four hours a day (making it very difficult for them to sleep), their struggles to deal with freezing temperatures (often without blankets) or extremely hot temperatures (with no air conditioning, or even fans to help circulate air, the inadequate medical and dental care (specifically, that they had been given medications surreptitiously in their water without being told what they were receiving.)
- Michael Baltz (2009-07-24). "Dental mission: taking care of Troopers, detainees" (PDF). The Wire (JTF-GTMO). Retrieved 2009-07-24.
- Neglect of Medical Evidence of Torture in Guantánamo Bay: A Case Series Published: April 26, 2011, Vincent Iacopino, Stephen N. Xenakis
- Report: Doctors ignored Guantanamo torture UPI, April 27, 2011
- Carol Rosenberg (2015-08-31). "Guantánamo tested prisoners' blood, vaccinated some after shingles, chickenpox cases". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on 2015-09-01. Retrieved 2015-09-03.