When we think of physicians, the Hippocratic Oath and its mythic status often come to mind. We believe that doctors help the sick, standing beside them day or night in times of trouble and remaining loyal to those entrusted to their care.
It turns out that at times, when a patient is helpless and in the custody of the security forces, this focus on their well-being is weakened as the demands of the security authorities play a significant and unacceptable role in the considerations of some physicians regarding their patients. This study gives substantial evidence suggesting that many physicians ignore the complaints of their patients, enable the use of torture by ISA interrogators, approve the use of prohibited interrogation methods and the abuse of helpless detainees, and conceal information – thus allowing the torturers total impunity.
The report is based on a series of testimonies and evidence including the files of more than one hundred victims of torture and ill-treatment handled by PCATI since 2007. The report shows that the conduct of medical professionals who interact with detainees is not commensurate with their ethical and legal obligations. It concludes with a number of recommendations for changing the situation and bringing clarity to the blurring of physician and interrogator.