• Send page
  • Print page

Civilization and torture: beyond the medical and psychiatric approach

30-09-2007 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 867, by Marcelo N. Vinãr

The author argues that torture not only affects its victim, but is an endemic illness of civilization which has the effect of shattering the social network that makes us human. If we are to dare look at the oppressive order which destroys victims of torture, we must listen to their agonized groaning and understand them.

   

Dr Marcelo N. Vinãr
is a psychoanalyst and trauma expert. He was professor in the Faculty of Medicine at Universidad de la República, Montevideo, from 1968 to 1997 and president of the Latin American Psychoanalytic Federation. He went into exile in France in 1976 and returned to Uruguay in 1989. 

 
Abstract 
The author argues that torture affects not only its victims, and also that torture is not a disease of the victim but an endemic illness of civilization which has the effect of shattering the social network that makes us human. In order to rebuild healthy social relationships, it is vital to detect and accept the existence of this invisible pathology. We must listen to the intense groan of torture victims and understand them if we are to dare to look at the oppressive order which destroys them.  

   
    pdf file   Full text in PDF format    (128kb)  
  About Acrobat PDF files 
 


Related pages