Fritz Allhoff, “Physician Involvement in Hostile Interrogations”, Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 15.4 (2006): 392-402. Reprinted in Fritz Allhoff (ed.), Physicians at War: The DualLoyalties Challenge (Dordrecht: Springer, 2008), pp. 91-104. Direct reply in Richard S. Matthews, “Indecent Medicine: Considering Physician Involvement in Torture” in Fritz Allhoff (ed.), Physicians at War: The Dual-Loyalties Challenge (Dordrecht: Springer, 2008), pp. 105-125.
Abstract: In this paper, I have two main goals. First, I will argue that traditional medical values mandate, as opposed to forbid, at least minimal physician participation in hostile interrogations. Second, I will argue that traditional medical duties or responsibilities do not apply to medically-trained interrogators. In support of this conclusion, I will argue that medically-trained interrogators could simply choose not to enter into a patient-physician relationship. Recognizing that this argument might not be convincing, I will then propose three further arguments against the claim that medical knowledge creates special duties: the logical argument, the metaphysical argument, and the argument from analogy. Finally, I will argue that invocations of role-differentiated morality, professionalism, and oaths could not circumvent the central argumentation of this paper.