Pentagon panel proposes changes to military medical ethics that could impact Gitmo force-feeding


"A federal committee that advises the Secretary of Defense on health policy has recommended that the Pentagon allow military healthcare workers to bow out of performing medical procedures that would violate their profession’s code of ethics, or their religious and moral beliefs. Personnel that decline to participate in the procedures should not face retribution."

This is some pretty risky wording. While it does have the positive effect of allowing medical personnel say, “You know what? I’m not going to participate in torture because it violates the medical code of ethics.”, I worry that it also sets up a situation where a field doctor can say, “I’m not going to save this Soldier’s life, because he’s a homosexual, and helping a homosexual live violates my religious beliefs.”

Maybe if the Pentagon panel proposed a different set of rules, this would work out better. I have a suggestion for the new wording:

“Torture is wrong morally and legally, and we won’t do it or allow anyone to do it.” Cleaned up a bit to make the lawyers happy, of course.


Oh, we will still torture and force feed people, even rectally. But if you don’t want to do it because it’s illegal, immoral, or unethical you have nothing to worry about. We will just find someone who will.


Considering how grossly evangelized much of the military has become, probably best documented by Michael Weinstein, e.g. in his book With God on Our Side: One Man’s War Against an Evangelical Coup in America’s Military, I fear its use to discriminate against gays and non-christians will dwarf that as a means of protecting those with a morality that values everyone instead of only a ‘blessed’ few.


What everyone else has noted. Perhaps “medical personnel shall not be required to perform procedures that the patient does not consent to”.

Because if you are the only doc a person can see, I’m not letting you out of prescribing birth control.

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