Us sedating violent prisoners
Many detainees themselves are unable to access their own medical records, or, in the absence of active litigation (and sometimes even then), to secure a medical evaluation by a civilian health professional.
Independent civilian health professionals have had, and continue to have, limited access to Guantánamo.
And, according to detainees’ counsel, significant portions of medical records the government has produced are classified. courts have firmly resolved some basic legal questions, like affirming detainees’ right to challenge the legality of their detention through habeas corpus petitions in federal court. The treatment must be as good as that provided for the general population.”  The United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules), which the United States has championed,  state similarly that “[p]risoners should enjoy the same standards of health care that are available in the community, and should have access to necessary health-care services free of charge without discrimination on the grounds of their legal status.”  By their terms, the Mandela Rules are “applicable to all categories of prisoners, criminal or civil, untried or convicted, including prisoners subject to ‘security measures.’”  The rules provide more detailed benchmarks that inform an assessment of whether, as one former Guantánamo commander asserted, detainees receive “first-rate” medical care that is “as good as or better than anything we would offer our own soldiers, sailors, airmen or Marines.” The following Mandela Rules are of particular relevance to the deficiencies identified in this report: The absence of an effective firewall between medical and security operations, Guantánamo’s sordid history, and the widespread prevalence of trauma due to torture among the detainee population have created or exacerbated a variety of serious deficiencies in medical care, described below.
Indeed, on April 27, 2019, then Joint Task Force-Guantánamo (JTF-GTMO) Commander Rear Admiral John C. Or the frequent rotation of medical personnel on and off the island which makes continuity of care all but impossible.
Ring expressed concern to a gathering of reporters about Guantánamo’s ability to provide medical care to the remaining detainees as time passes and with seemingly no prospect of their release: Unless America’s policy changes, at some point we’ll be doing some sort of end of life care here…. Or the deeply troubling double standard by which detainees cannot meaningfully access their own medical records, while prosecutors in military commission cases can.
This report concludes with a series of recommendations that would at least mitigate medical care deficiencies and reduce the likelihood of unmanageable medical crises until Guantánamo—as it should be—is finally closed.
This report by the Center for Victims of Torture and Physicians for Human Rights is based on an analysis of public source materials documenting significant deficiencies in the provision of medical care to detainees at Guantánamo.