But here's where it is relevant. In the wake of that, and in the wake of Tuskegee and other incidents where medicine betrayed the interests of vulnerable patients, there has been put in place a very robust system of protections for human subjects of experimentation. And this is something that anyone who works anywhere in the field of experimentation — whether it's psychology or whether it's medicine or drug trials — everyone who lives in that world knows that we have this very careful process that's enforced by the federal government.
So it's from that regime that we get the definitions of what constitutes experimentation and how it's done correctly and how it's done incorrectly. So it was using that framework — we applied that to what they were doing in this interrogation program. And we saw — saw described — the systematic collection and analysis of data regarding the application of these techniques and we felt that they were describing basic elements of human subject research.
IN YOUR NEW ARTICLE YOU CALL FOR DOCTORS TO HAVE FULL INDEPENDENCE FROM THE CHAIN OF COMMAND. YOU CALL FOR INVESTIGATION OF ALL THOSE INVOLVED IN TORTURE. YOU CALL FOR THOSE WHO DOCUMENT IT TO BE PROTECTED. WHAT OF THOSE ITEMS IS THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT? There needs to be, at some level, a full and open and honest accounting of what happened here, what went wrong, so that we can put measures in place to see that this type of violation of professional ethics — and violation of trust — does not occur again.
DO YOU HAVE MUCH CONFIDENCE THAT THE PACKAGE OF REFORMS YOU CALL FOR WILL BE APPROVED? IS WASHINGTON WILLING? It's going to be a long-term process, but I am optimistic. I think, ultimately, when America does stray away from its principles, it eventually rights the ship. But it took quite a lot to get us off track and it's going to take a concerted effort to get us back on track.
We have engaged and had some success in our dialogue with people in the Department of Defense. They can't speak out. But they very much share our view that this went wrong and they want to restore the tradition where government employees and military medical people follow the same ethics that civilian health professionals do.
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