Military Medical Ethics – Scenario Database

Medical officer present during "harsh interrogation"

ID/Number: 81
Last updated: 20 Nov, 2018
Revision: 4
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Email excerpt from a medical officer

"The sessions accelerated rapidly progressing quickly to the water board after large box, walling, and small box periods. [Prisoner X] seems very resistant to the water board. Longest time with the cloth over his face so far has been 17 seconds. This is sure to increase shortly. NO useful information so far. He did vomit a couple of times during the water board with some beans and rice. It's been 10 hours since he ate so this is surprising and disturbing. We plan to only feed Ensure for a while now. Im head[ing] back for another water board session." (p. 41)


On-site medical officer in a detention camp, writing before the arrival of an high-ranked prisoner

"[T]he team here apparently looks to use the water board in two different contexts. One is as a tool of regression and control in which it is used up front and aggressively. The second is to vet information on an as needed basis. Given the various pressures from home vs what is happening on the ground, I think the team's expectation is that [the prisoner] will [be] getting treatment somewhere in between. I don't think they believe that it will be possible to entirely avoid the water board given the high and immediate threat to US and allied interests. It is an interesting dynamic because they are well aware of the toll it will take on the team vs. the detainee. The requirements coming from home are really unbelievable in terms of breadth and detail." (p. 84)

Source: Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency's Detention and Interrogation Program. Declassification Revisions December 3, 2014. Pages 41, 84.
https://www.intelligence.senate.gov/sites/default/files/documents/CRPT-113srpt288.pdf [Jul 26, 2017]

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Keywords
Interrogation Torture Mistreatment Neutrality
Related scenarios and readings
item Physicians' Involvement in Coercive Interrogations
item Punitive medical examination
item Complicity in interrogation

This scenario is also listed in the following categories
folder Military Medical Ethics Scenarios -> Lack of knowledge and awareness in law, ethics, and intercultural differences -> Lack of knowledge in ethics
folder Military Medical Ethics Scenarios -> Lack of knowledge and awareness in law, ethics, and intercultural differences -> Lack of knowledge in legal regulations