Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Ruchama Marton -- From the Personal to the Political: The Involvement of Physicians in Israel in the Torture and Ill-Treatment of Detainees

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

McKinney Conference Room

"From the Personal to the Political: The Involvement of Physicians in Israel in the Torture and Ill-Treatment of Detainees," with Ruchama Marton, founding president of Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I). 

This talk describes how some physicians working in Israeli detention facilities contribute to the torture and ill treatment of Palestinian detainees. Physicians are committed to be the guardians of their patients' care and health. But in Israeli prisons, physicians often find themselves either instructed or coerced to disregard or keep silent about detainees' complaints of torture, to pass on confidential medical information to interrogators, and to authorize physical torture and mistreatment. Marton argues that this situation is attributable to broader psychological mechanisms of the Occupation, according to which Palestinians are mainly seen as dehumanized enemies of the Israeli state. Physicians for Human Rights, an Israeli medical human rights NGO, works to bring an end to the involvement of the medical profession in torture and ill treatment, as part of a broader mission to sanctify the lives and well-being of the vulnerable in this conflict-torn region.

Presented by the Human Security in the Middle East Seminar Series.

Location: McKinney Conference Room.