FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - November 4, 2013
Contact: Larry Akey, Director of Communications, (202)580-6922 [o] or (202)580-9313 [c], lakey@constitutionproject.org
        

 

TCP Lauds Study Finding U.S. Required Docs

to Violate Ethics in Treatment of Terrorists

Findings Mirror Task Force on Detainee Treatment

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A new report from an independent panel charges military and intelligence agencies with requiring doctors and medical personnel to perform acts that violated their professional ethics, including participating in the torture of suspected terrorists in U.S custody and the force-feeding of hunger strikers at the prison at Guantanamo Bay.

 

"This new report is a critical contribution to the debate that only furthers the need for an official recognition of our nation's past actions regarding the detention and treatment of suspected terrorists, including the immediate declassification and release of the Senate Intelligence Committee's report," said Virginia Sloan, president of The Constitution Project (TCP), a bipartisan legal watchdog group.

Sloan said the new report mirrors several of the recommendations of TCP's Task Force on Detainee Treatment, which released its comprehensive report in April.

According to the report released today by the 20-member Task Force on Preserving Medical Professionalism in National Security Detention Centers, medical professionals working for the CIA played a central role in devising interrogation techniques that resulted in the torture or cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment of detainees.

The report also claims the Department of Defense classified medical staff members as "safety officers" to avoid recognizing their role in providing health care, established policies that violated doctor-patient confidentiality so that interrogators could utilize information obtained by medical workers, and continues to make physicians and nurses force-feed hunger strikers.

The panel, a group of independent military, ethics, medical and legal experts convened under the auspices of the Institute on Medicine as a Profession (IMAP), based its findings and recommendations on an analysis of public records spanning more than a decade following the attacks of 9/11. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has prepared a 6,000-page report of the CIA's role in abusing detainees based on extensive review of classified documents, but it remains unavailable to policymakers and the public.

Dr. Gerald Thomson, professor of medicine emeritus at Columbia University, served on both the TCP and IMAP Task Forces.

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About The Constitution Project

Created out of the belief that we must cast aside the labels that divide us in order to keep our democracy strong, The Constitution Project (TCP) brings together policy experts and legal practitioners from across the political spectrum to foster consensus-based solutions to the most difficult constitutional challenges of our time.  TCP seeks to reform the nation's broken criminal justice system and to strengthen the rule of law through scholarship, advocacy, policy reform and public education initiatives. Established in 1997, TCP is based in Washington, D.C.