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Healthcare Officals and Torture

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The New York State Assembly and Senate both have pending bills to outlaw the participation in torture and improper treatment by health care providers.  The pending bills include as part of their definition of improper treatment:

"Improper Treatment" means (I) cruel and unusual, cruel, inhuman or degrading, treatment of punishment as defined by applicable international treaties and their corresponding interpreting bodies, or cruel and unusual punishment as defined in the United States Constitution or the New York State Constitution.

One wonders whether that would extend to health care providers working in administrative (aka: solitary confinement, supermax) facilities.    

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I have seldom if ever read a proposed statute that so obviously violates the longstanding rule that the government cannot punish behavior it has failed to define in a way a person of ordinary intelligence could understand.

Or to put it more bluntly: What, specifically, are they talking about? To make legal liability depend on guessing (or, even worse, the political climate of the moment, which is what this is really about) is a burlesque of due process. I wonder where the ACLU will be on this one.

Oh, wait. I don't really wonder.

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