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US military doctors must report detainee abuse under new guidelines

[JURIST] Under new guidelines [DOD press release], US military health professionals are permitted to observe and advise on "lawful" interrogations of detainees, but may not participate in questioning and must report any inhumane treatment. The guidelines, contained in a June 3rd Pentagon memo, differentiate between those providing health care to the detainee from those who are involved in "non-treatment activity." Medical professionals that provide any treatment to detainees are barred from participating in interrogations. Pentagon Chief Medical Officer William Winkenwerder [profile], said Thursday that military healthcare professionals must "be guided by professional judgment and standards similar to those that would be applied to members of the U.S. armed forces, including duty to protect the physical and mental health of the detainee." The US Army Surgeon General Kevin C. Kiley [official profile] is conducting a separate investigation into whether military health care professionals failed to report or took part in abuses uncovered in the wake of the Abu Ghraib scandal. Reuters has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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