This paper addresses a crisis of severe shortages of human resources in heavily impacted sub-Saharan societies where health care workers who have the opportunity to move to wealthier nations do so, thus rejecting substandard, second-class health systems that their countries and the international community have been too slow to upgrade.
US government officials continue to classify certain acts as permissible under the Geneva Conventions; in response to this, PHR has issued the following guiding principles to clarify the US government's legal obligations with regard to interrogations, to help ensure that interrogators prevent and account for acts of torture and/or ill treatment of detainees, and to make clear the health consequences of all forms of torture and ill treatment, including so-called stress and duress coercive techniques.
The practice of imprisoning asylum seekers who flee to America to escape torture, abuse, and persecution in their own countries has damaging effects on the well-being of these individuals. Detention can induce fear, isolation, and hopelessness, and exacerbate the severe psychological distress frequently exhibited by asylum seekers who are already traumatized.
Fidelity to the patient is a cornerstone of the ethics of health practice; yet physicians, nurses and other health professionals are increasingly called upon to subordinate the patient's interest to some social objective - sometimes at the expense of the rights of the patient. In this book, PHR analyzes the problem of dual loyalty and proposes both practice guidelines and institutional mechanisms to support health professionals facing dual loyalty conflicts.
PHR has concluded that preparing for extraordinary use of military force to be deployed in a manner that will likely risk huge damage to infrastructure and civilian life, without due consideration for the consequences to the highly vulnerable population of Iraq, as the US did, is intolerable. PHR joins in the call issued by other human rights organizations for the U.S. and its allies to be much more transparent about the anticipated consequences for the population during and following a war with Iraq and preparations for the anticipated humanitarian crisis.