Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

No role for mental health professionals in the practice of torture

Date:
February 1, 2010
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Psychologists and psychiatrists should not be expected to participate in torture as they do not have the expertise to assess individual pain or the long-term effects of interrogation, say experts.

Psychologists and psychiatrists should not be expected to participate in torture as they do not have the expertise to assess individual pain or the long-term effects of interrogation, says experts in an analysis posted online in the British Medical Journal.

The authors, Derrick Silove and Susan Rees, from the University of New South Wales in Australia, say some senior members of the US military have argued that a psychologist's presence is necessary to protect the prisoner or detainee from the "severe physical or mental pain or suffering resulting in prolonged mental harm."

They add that several leading scientific journals have also published papers by authors who support the presence of mental health professionals as protection for detainees.

But the authors believe that there is no established marker to assess "extreme experiences that cause pain or psychological trauma" and do not believe it is possible for professionals "to make accurate assessments of the level of pain or mental trauma being experienced by the detainee."

They maintain that it can be "notoriously difficult" to assess how much distress a detainee is experiencing. Indeed, there is evidence that "militants who are ideologically prepared may show greater resilience when tortured."

There is extensive research, they argue, that torture causes long-term mental health problems. However, "we do not yet have the scientific knowledge to predict with any precision what the psychological outcome will be for an individual."

The authors conclude that having spent years trying to reveal the damaging effects of torture, it would be ironic if health professionals were called upon to use their skills to participate in this practice.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Derrick M Silove, Susan J Rees. Interrogating the role of mental health professionals in assessing torture. BMJ, 2010; 340 (jan28 1): c124 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.c124

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "No role for mental health professionals in the practice of torture." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100129082918.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2010, February 1). No role for mental health professionals in the practice of torture. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100129082918.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "No role for mental health professionals in the practice of torture." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100129082918.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Residents of Sierra Leone's capital voice their fears as the Ebola virus sweeps through west Africa. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
101-Year-Old Working Man Has All The Advice You Need

101-Year-Old Working Man Has All The Advice You Need

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) — Herman Goldman has worked at the same lighting store for almost 75 years. Find out his secrets to a happy, productive life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patient Apparently Improving, Outbreak Is Not

American Ebola Patient Apparently Improving, Outbreak Is Not

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) — Nancy Writebol, an American missionary who contracted Ebola, is apparently getting better, according to her husband. The outbreak, however, is not. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins