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View Diary: Why I'm Leaving APA (A Special Kind of GBCW Diary) (144 comments)

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  •  Indeed. Do psychologists have a (15+ / 0-)

    hippocratic  oath? A sort of do no harm pledge?. It would be hard to imagine medical doctors helping out with modes of physical torture. Although this may be the case, I don't know.

    •  A fascinating question (34+ / 0-)

      There are those of us who maintain that Principle A of the APA's Code of Ethics makes this kind of pledge:

      Psychologists strive to benefit those with whom they work and take care to do no harm. In their professional actions, psychologists seek to safeguard the welfare and rights of those with whom they interact professionally and other affected persons, and the welfare of animal subjects of research. When conflicts occur among psychologists' obligations or concerns, they attempt to resolve these conflicts in a responsible fashion that avoids or minimizes harm. Because psychologists' scientific and professional judgments and actions may affect the lives of others, they are alert to and guard against personal, financial, social, organizational, or political factors that might lead to misuse of their influence. Psychologists strive to be aware of the possible effect of their own physical and mental health on their ability to help those with whom they work.

      But APA and/or some psychologists have been able to make claims that they are not doctors, or that they act in instances outside medical definitions, as when they are involved in developing interrogation theory based on psychological techniques.

      And then there's this, which startled me when I first heard it: the General Principles of the APA's Ethics Code are uninforceable! Only the matters listed in the section called the "Ethics Code" are enforceable upon psychologists. The former are said to be aspirational in nature.

      Talk about loopholes! I heard this from the APA Ethics director himself.

    •  Medical doctors absolutely participate in torture (9+ / 0-)

      Medical doctors that work for the Army do participate in torture.  This has been known for some time, I believe.

      I'm sure they feel they are serving some greater good by doing so.  Apparently the Hippocratic oath has attained some sort of "greater good" clause since its last public interation.

      THey have docotrs monitor the prisoners systems so they can torture but not kill the person.


      WE are the enemy.

      Civil behavior isn't about restraining from using insults or obscenities, it's about behaving like a fucking decent human being.

      by Casey Morris on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 05:17:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There has been no "greater good" component (6+ / 0-)

        of their conduct. But you snagged a cornerstone of the rationale being passed off as justification for the tolerance of increased violence and abuse in our society in general.

        The level of violence acceptable to the American public in media and from our public servants has increased since 2001. There has been an increasingly violent police response to public misbehavior, including political demostrators. Television permits increasingly harsh interrogation techniques in police programs.

        Prescriptions for antidepressants outnumber those for blood pressure, chloresterol, headaches and asthma combined. I would hazard a guess that many Americans are attempting to feel better about the increasing violence surrounding their lives with these drugs, on top of any personal reasons for taking them. It is depressing to observe social violence as it crops up like the APA's participation and tolerance of torture.

        This diary is a valuable read on our society. Psychologists are supposed to be among our healers, not among the dark elements in our government seeking to control and oppress us and anyone else they wish to control through harsh interrogations. Thank you for your principled stand, Valtin.

        There was never a good war or a bad peace. -- Ben Franklin

        by 4Freedom on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 09:28:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You are absolutely right (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kraant, Crestingwave, Casey Morris

          about the rise of social violence in our society. There is also a good deal of endemic violence based upon a long legacy of racism and economic inequality. I'm old enough to see that things have gotten worse though. How could it not, when the nation's leaders engage in predatory war and mass killings, and their opposition presents as weak, impotent, and/or complicit?

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