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“Doctors of the Dark Side” Premiere Includes PHR

by Kristine Huskey, JD on October 21, 2011

Doctors of the Dark Side will premiere at Georgetown University Law Center this coming Monday, October 24, 2011, at 6:30pm. The film documents the critical role that physicians and psychologists played in the torture of detainees in US custody, an issue which PHR has been investigating and reporting on for several years in attempt to prevent future abuse of detainees and similar ethical violations.  This visually compelling, often graphic documentary, narrated by Mercedes Ruehl, contains interviews of doctors, psychologists, military officers, former detainees, and attorneys who reveal the substantial involvement by health professionals in the systematic physical and psychological torture and abuse of detainees.

The documentary will be followed by a panel discussion, moderated by Kristine Huskey, PHR’s Director of Anti-Torture Program and Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University Law Center. Panelists will include:

  • M. Gregg Bloche, Professor, Georgetown University Law Center and author of The Hippocratic Myth: Why Doctors Are Under Pressure to Ration Care, Practice Politics, and Compromise Their Promise to Heal
  • Martha Davis, Producer and Director of "Doctors of the Dark Side”
  • Leonard Rubenstein, Visiting Scholar, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School for Public Health
  • Dr. Stephen Xenakis, US Army Brigadier General (Ret.), Court-approved medical expert, Guantanamo Tribunals

Doctors of the Dark Side gives a human face to an issue that many do not want to confront. As demonstrated in the film, and as further described by PHR in, Broken Laws, Broken Lives, medical professionals implicitly or explicitly authorized the torture that occurred at Guantanamo, including practices such as isolation, sleep deprivation, forced nakedness, severe humiliation and degradation, and sensory deprivation. This must-see documentary confirms the need to strengthen through state legislation professional ethical standards by prohibiting health professionals’ participation in torture, abusive treatment and interrogation.


Places: United States

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