Uruguay's Military Physicians: Cogs in a System of State Terror
Bloche, Maxwell Gregg
JAMA. 1986 May 23/30; 255(20): 2788-2793.
The military junta that ruled Uruguay until March 1985 was engaged in a systematic program of clandestine detention and torture of political detainees. Bloche went to Uruguay in December 1985 on behalf of the American Association for the Advancement of Science to investigate claims that physicians collaborated in this program. He reports on the extent to which evidence supported allegations that physicians engaged in performing clinical examinations on detainees that yielded information used for planning torture, prepared pathological reports that covered up acts of brutality, failed to provide adequate medical assistance, designed a prison regimen to harm inmates' mental health, and abused neuroleptic drugs. He concludes that, although evidence regarding some of the allegations was inconclusive, the investigation proved overall that clinicians played a significant role in the Uruguayan apparatus of physical and psychological torture. (KIE abstract)
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