On June 7, Physicians for Human Rights released a report that concludes that the Bush administration may have conducted illegal and unethical human experimentation and research on detainees in CIA custody. This research, if proven to have occurred, could violate the Geneva Conventions, the Common Rule, the Nuremberg Code and other international and domestic prohibitions against illegal human subject research and experimentation.
Not only are these alleged acts gross violations of human rights law, they are a grave affront to America’s core values.
Physicians for Human Rights, together with Amnesty International, the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Center for Victims of Torture, Human Rights Watch, International Rehabilatation Council for Torture Victims, the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, and Psychologists for Social Responsibility, has filed a complaint based on evidence of CIA experimentation with the Office of Human Research Protection. The complaint demands that OHRP launch a full investigation into possible human experimentation by the CIA.
The OHRP, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, is responsible for ensuring that federally funded research involving human subjects complies with scientific and human rights-based regulations. OHRP has a long history of sanctioning powerful institutions that violate US law protecting human subjects in research.
The elected officials have failed in their duty to investigate apparent CIA wrongdoing. It’s time to get the experts involved.
Take action now by joining the OHRP complaint. Anyone world-wide can officially join the complaint just by signing below. [http://phrtorturepapers.org/?page_id=451] You will add your name to a list of thousands of people calling for justice. You will not be asked to come to court, nor will you need to take further action. By signing your name, you will have demanded an official investigation into deeply disturbing allegations of illegal CIA experimentation on detainees.
The integrity of America’s commitment to human rights and the rule of law stands in the balance. Sign on to the OHRP complaint (text below) today.
Send this petition to:
- Director of Compliance and Oversight Division Kristina Borror
Recent reports by Physicians for Human Rights and a paper by Renée Llanusa-Cestero in “Accountability in Research” raise concerns that the CIA’s Office of Medical Services (OMS) conducted research and experimentation on detainees in US custody and, in the process, likely violated federal regulations governing human subject research carried out by United States Government entities. These regulations are known as The Common Rule (45 CFR 46). The CIA is one of seventeen federal agencies required by law to adhere to The Common Rule when conducting federally funded research on human beings.
The Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) should initiate immediately an official investigation into experimentation by the CIA on detainees in its custody based upon the following evidence of wrongdoing detailed in declassified government documents:
(1) The collection by OMS health professionals of data from detainees in order to derive generalizable knowledge of the effects on detainee subjects of “enhanced interrogation” techniques. These techniques, which have serious potential to cause harm, included sleep deprivation, waterboarding, sensory deprivation and overload. It appears that data also was collected on the impact of techniques both when used individually and when applied in combination;
(2) The collection of data from detainees subjected to the technique of the waterboard in order to develop new methods and procedures for its application, including the experimental use of potable saline in place of water to reduce the risk of hyponatremia;
(3) The CIA’s apparent failure to comply with The Common Rule’s regulations (a) requiring all human research subjects to provide informed consent, (b) assuring that subjects of research have the right and ability to stop their participation in the research at any time, and (c) requiring the conduct of prior review of the proposed human subject research by an Institutional Review Board.
We request the OHRP to conduct a For-Cause Compliance Oversight Evaluation of the CIA OMS for research targeting detainee subjects.
If the OHRP concludes that OMS research on detainees subjected to “enhanced interrogation” techniques commonly viewed as torture violated The Common Rule and internationally accepted standards of health professional ethics, the CIA must be immediately sanctioned by the Department of Health and Human Services. Any personnel found to have violated the law should be referred to the Department of Justice for prosecution. Professionals determined to be in violation of their ethically mandated responsibilities should be referred to state licensing bodies and professional associations for appropriate professional sanctions.
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