Sleeping on concrete floors with the lights on day and night, flu and lice outbreaks, no access to soap or toothbrushes — these are some of the shocking reports of conditions inside facilities where the government is detaining migrant children.
Joining Boston Public Radio to share his analysis was medical ethicist Arthur Caplan. Caplan is the Drs. William F. and Virginia Connolly Mitty Chair and director of the Division of Medical Ethics at NYU Langone Medical Center, as well as the co-host of the "Everyday Ethics" podcast.
Caplan likened the conditions to "torture" and emphasized that is legal for immigrants to seek asylum in the United States.
"Whether we decide to take them or not, we shouldn't be torturing children," Caplan said.
Caplan said he believes there is an obligation on the part of medical professionals to intervene. He additionally pointed to a petition condemning the treatment of children in the camps signed by over 800 bioethicists.
"I think [medical professionals] have a duty to try to get in there, now that we have reports of abuse. I think they should be lining up to say 'We have to go in and examine conditions regularly and the kids, because they're clearly being abused,'" he said.
"I think [doctors] need to say to either state or county officials, we have to go in there — or why aren't you sending us in there?" he continued.
Caplan believes doctors should be on site daily to ensure migrants, particularly children, are kept safe.
"There should be a doctor there every single day. Not just to check conditions, but to look at the kids," he said.