Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Army Use of Psychiatrists in Interrogations Called Unethical

U.S. military psychiatrists may be asked to assist in interrogations of detainees, in apparent conflict with American Psychiatric Association and American Medical Association policies, said a researcher here.

In 2006, both associations endorsed policy statements forbidding psychiatrists and other physicians from being present at interrogations or advising on techniques to be used on individual detainees. (See: APA: Stay Out Of Interrogations, Psychiatrists Urged and AMA: Prisoner Interrogation Unethical for Physicians, Declares AMA Panel)

"Yet documents recently provided to me by the U.S. Army in response to requests under the Freedom of Information Act make clear that the Department of Defense still wants doctors to be involved and continues to resist the positions taken by medicine's professional associations," wrote Jonathan H. Marks, M.A., B.C.L., of Penn State University, in the Sept. 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.


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