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There are several versions of the Oath, and all of them contain some version of the pledge to “do no harm,” or “never to do deliberate harm to anyone for anyone else’s interest.”

The topic has come up in discussions about physician participation in executions, though the physicians would argue that their presence is to mitigate harm rather than impose it. That doesn’t seem to be the case with psychologists, whose primary association refuses to issue a moratorium on the practice of psychology for torture. The association did limit the involvement to a passive role – sort of.

From the SF Bay Guardian:

At the APA’s 115th annual conference, held at San Francisco’s Moscone Center on Aug. 17 to 20, Fallenbaum and many other psychologists and activists spoke — and rallied at the Yerba Buena Gardens — in favor of a rule that would have banned psychologists from engaging in military interrogations at US military prisons “in which detainees are deprived of adequate protection of their human rights.”

The moratorium they advocated — which only recently made it onto the APA’s agenda — was overwhelmingly voted down Aug. 19 at the APA Council meeting after an hour of public comment that was mostly in support of the moratorium. A competing motion that reaffirmed the organization’s position against torture “and other cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment or punishment” was unequivocally passed, leaving a schism between the organization and the rejected resolution’s supporters.

From the small favors department:

In its approved resolution, the APA for the first time lays out 14 forms of inhumane treatment that it opposes. The list includes mock executions, water boarding, sexual humiliation, isolation, exploitation of phobias, and induced hypothermia…

But then, you don’t need psychologists for that. You only need them to induce a Stockholm Syndrome after the fact.

The conference did generate a startling admission, if unintended, from an officer at Guatanomo.

As US Army Col. Larry James, who serves as a psychologist at Guantánamo Bay, told the crowd before the vote, “If we remove psychologists from these facilities, people are going to die.”

So, I guess that puts them in the framework of the physicians trying to make executions painless, but what’s going on at the base then that’s going to kill people but for the presence of headshrinkers?

Read the article. It’s…., well, fascinating.

Update: An APA award winning author returned her award in protest of the organization’s stance.

Yep. The league is short on coaches right now, so I got roped in. Thing is, I missed the training session, and I don’t really know what I’m doing. I need some pointers.

The team is made up of 4 to 6 year olds. We had our first practice yesterday, which we mostly spent scrimmaging and running through the sprinkler in the field (it was hot!). I improvised a couple of drills trying to teach them to pass with the insides of their feet, and some dribbling around cones. Anybody have any drills to suggest for that age level? We play with hockey-sized goals in a smaller field. Only five kids on the field for each team. No goalie. No off-sides rules or anything like that. Any books, websites, or other literature to suggest?

We chose a name – the Blue Sharks got the most votes (the jerseys being blue). Other nomination were the Blue Dragons, The Blueberries, the Snakes, and the Red Tree (my personal favorite, but it only got two votes).

It’s like herding cats at that age. They don’t listen to my whistle! Any advice is welcome!

Photo is from the Mad River Youth Soccer site.


August 2007