The following statements are excerpted from the Army's OTSG/MEDCOM
Policy Memo 06-029, dated October 20, 2006. The memo sets out Department of
Defense standards for actions by psychologists and psychiatrists during
interrogation of detainees. APA and the AMA have stated their opposition to
such activity by psychiatrists and other physicians (see Ethics Experts
Challenge Army's Interrogation Participation Memo), but the memo
indicates "... that the Department of Defense still wants doctors to be
involved in interrogations and continues to resist the positions taken by
medicine's professional associations," according to a recent
Perspective in the New England Journal of Medicine. The full
memorandum is posted at the journal's Web site (see URL below).
Also, the document quotes guidelines in the AMA's 2006 report"
Physician Participation in Interrogation" and then adds
commentary from the Army memo. Here are excerpts from that portion of the
Memo Commentary: Although physicians who provide medical care to
detainees should not be involved in decisions whether or not to interrogate
because such decisions are unrelated to medicine or the health interests of an
individual, physicians who are not providing medical care to detainees may
provide such information if warranted by compelling security interests.
Memo Commentary: The presence of a physician at an interrogation,
particularly an appropriately trained psychiatrist, may benefit the
interrogates because of the belief held by many psychiatrists that kind and
compassionate treatment of detainees can establish rapport that may result in
eliciting more useful information.
The Department of the Army's "Behavioral Science
Consultation Policy" is posted on the Web site of the New England
Journal of Medicine at<http://content.nejm.org/cgi/data/359/11/1090/DC1/1>.▪