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Do No Harm? How Psychologists Have Supported Torture and What to Do About It

  • Wessells M
  • Sveaass N
  • Foster D
  • et al.
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The purpose of this chapter is to examine how psychologists have enabled torture and abuse through a mixture of action and inaction, and to suggest how psychologists can do their part to end the use of torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment. Using the cases of the apartheid era in South Africa and the US case of the post-9/11 response to terrorism, it examines how both individual psychologists and professional psychological organisations have supported torture directly or indirectly and the ethical implications thereof. Recognising the urgency of strengthening the international regime against torture, the chapter also identifies concrete steps that psychologists in different countries can take as a means of helping to end and prevent the use of torture. Direct action to prevent torture and ill-treatment must be considered a basic aspect of the role of psychologists. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)




Wessells, M., Sveaass, N., Foster, D., & Dawes, A. (2017). Do No Harm? How Psychologists Have Supported Torture and What to Do About It (pp. 269–294).

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