Forensic Science and Saddam Hussein

Once Saddam was captured he went through a complete physical assessment by military Forensic Physicians. This included the usual physical agenda as well as psychiatric interrogations. As opposed to what Saddam did with his prisoners, he was always treated with respect and confidentiality.

He was given the medical care needed to bring him up to optimal health, as well as feeding him the nutrition he needs. He is in “jail” but his accommodations are nothing like what he created in his own jails of Iraq. Comments from former guards that have kept track of Saddam state: “Saddam Hussein likes munching nacho chips, plays a mean game of ping-pong.” This would hardly be even normal free life in Iraq. Forensics in Iraq was non-existent. Inmates in Iraq were beaten, tortured and forced to live in cells that were 8X10 with as many as 40 people.

Forensic nursing for Saddam would include a physical assessment, treatment for any conditions which would have come up. It would also include a mental health assessment to determine if he is competent to stand trial. He also gets ongoing treatment to keep him at his optimal health.

This is the complete opposite of how he treated people. Most were just executed with no reason. The executions were inhumane such has dropping people in a meat grinder feet first allowing them to scream to death.

Forensic nursing is used with inmates to help determine whether they are healthy. It also is used to determine whether they have had any abuse through physical assessment and mental assessment.

The CBS Video clip which was first seen on December 14th, 2003 regarding Saddam’s capture and medical exam. The video itself violates Saddam’s personal rights. In A Physician’s Guide to Clinical Forensic Medicine it states “If a recording has been made in the course of investigation or treatment of a patient but the doctor now wishes to use it for another purpose, the patient’s consent must first be obtained. Recordings are not to be published or broadcast in any form without the explicit, written consent of the patient.” Saddam never gave consent for his medical evaluation to be broadcast on public television.

At the point of his capture, he had no representation as the United States does with all other accused. We all do understand that Saddam is 99.999% guilty, but this should not change our ways of doing medical evaluations and our way of checking in accused. International law is even tougher and we violated several of Saddam’s rights. He had no privacy, he was not represented, he was treated as if he was guilty. This all made the United States look bad. Mistreating Saddam made other countries wonder what we were doing with the prisoners which were not as important.

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