CAMLAW: Complementary and Alternative Medicine Law Blog

Critics argue '24' offers selective view of torture

The New Yorker reports criticism of the popular show '24' as unreliastically using high-velocity narrative in repetivie 'ticking time bomb' scenarios.

The piece also cites critics who argue that the show's central political premise--that the letter of American law must be sacrificed for the country's security--was having a toxic effect. In their view, the show promoted unethical and illegal behavior and had adversely affected the training and performance of real American soldiers.

Does popular culture promote violence, or social violence encourage violence in popular culture?

Maybe both.

Apparently, 'Finnegan told the producers that "24," by suggesting that the U.S. government perpetrates myriad forms of torture, hurts the country's image internationally. Finnegan, who is a lawyer, has for a number of years taught a course on the laws of war to West Point seniors--cadets who would soon be commanders in the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. He always tries, he said, to get his students to sort out not just what is legal but what is right. However, it had become increasingly hard to convince some cadets that America had to respect the rule of law and human rights, even when terrorists did not. One reason for the growing resistance, he suggested, was misperceptions spread by "24," which was exceptionally popular with his students.'

What's legal isn't always ethical, and what's ethical isn't always legal. Sometimes (as in informed consent) the two coincide.

But just because Jack Bauer can do doesn't make it so. Sometimes it's necessary unplug from the viruality, to reach back into that ancient thing,

called Conscience.

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Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen offers general corporate legal services, litigation consultation, and expertise in health law with a unique focus on alternative, complementary, and integrative medical therapies.

Michael H. Cohen is Principal in Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen and also President of the Institute for Integrative and Energy Medicine (also known as the Institute for Health, Ethics, Law, Policy & Society), a forum for exploration of legal, regulatory, ethical, and health policy issues involved in the judicious integration of complementary and alternative medical therapies (such as acupuncture and traditional oriental medicine, chiropractic, massage therapy, herbal medicine) and conventional clinical care. The most recent published book by Michael H. Cohen on health care law, regulation, ethics and policy pertaining to complementary, alternative and integrative medicine and related fields is Healing at the Borderland of Medicine and Religion. This is the fourth book in a series, following Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Legal Boundaries and Regulatory Perspectives (1998), Beyond Complementary Medicine: Legal and Ethical Perspectives on Health Care and Human Evolution (2000), and Future Medicine: Ethical Dilemmas, Regulatory Challenges, and Therapeutic Pathways to Health Care and Healing in Human Transformation (2003).

Health care and corporate lawyer Michael H. Cohen has also been admitted to the Bar of England and Wales as a Solicitor (non-practicing), adding to Bar membership in four U.S. states.
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