Tags: Al-Qaida | War on Terrorism | CIA | detainees | experimentation | rules

Report: CIA Authority on Treatment of Detainees May Break Rules

By    |   Monday, 15 Jun 2015 09:47 AM

New government documents reveal that the CIA's director has unfettered authority to determine the limits of "human experimentation" on in-house and contracted medical research, the Guardian reported.

A previously classified CIA document shows that the agency's director has the authority to "approve, modify, or disapprove all proposals pertaining to human subject research," even though the agency has never been lead by a medical doctor.

The powers give the agency's head significant influence to define the way the U.S. government determines the ethics of procedures on people, the newspaper said.

Critics are questioning how the CIA could have carried out "enhanced interrogation techniques" even though there are rules against "research on human subjects" without their informed consent.

Nevertheless, doctors, human rights workers, and intelligence experts told the newspaper that the agency's human-experimentation rules were in keeping with responsible medical practices.

"The more words you have, the more you can twist them, but it's not a bad definition," Scott Allen, an internist and medical adviser to Physicians for Human Rights, told the Guardian.

One section of the document says that the agency "shall not sponsor, contract for, or conduct research on human subjects" outside of instructions on responsible and human medical practices that are followed by the Department of Health and Human Services.

One stipulation of those instructions is the "subject's informed consent."

The previously undisclosed guidelines give the CIA director and an advisory board the authority to "evaluate all documentation and certifications pertaining to human research sponsored by, contracted for, or conducted by the CIA."

Some experts say that the CIA violated its own guidelines for limits of medical research when carrying out interrogations of Sept. 11 detainees, particularly the guideline that stipulates "informed consent."

Doctors for the Office of Medical Services were heavily involved in the torture of detainees in the custody of the CIA, the Guardian said.

The CIA has maintained that the presence of medical personnel ensured that its interrogation techniques were in keeping with medical guidelines.

But some doctors and human rights experts have been critical of the role that medical professionals played in overseeing the interrogations, noting that there was a blurred line between giving medical aid to detainees versus the role they played in determining the outer limits of what detainees could medically endure.

And in all cases, detainees involved in the interrogation program did not give informed consent, violating a stipulation of the guidelines, the experts said.

"There is a disconnect between the requirement of this regulation and the conduct of the interrogation program," Steven Aftergood, a scholar of the intelligence agencies with the Federation of American Scientists, told the Guardian. "They do not represent consistent policy."

© Mike Reagan

 
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New government documents reveal that the CIA's director has unfettered authority to determine the limits of "human experimentation" on in-house and contracted medical research, the Guardian reported.
CIA, detainees, experimentation, rules
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2015-47-15
Monday, 15 Jun 2015 09:47 AM
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