Under the updated American Medical Association Code of Ethics, (2006) Physicians have five ethical obligations

  • To perform physical and mental assessments of detainees only to determine if there is a need for medical care and provide this care
  • Not to participate in interrogations
  • Not to monitor interrogations
  • Not to participate in developing effective interrogation strategies
  • To report their observations to the appropriate authorities   (Opinion 2, 068, Nov. 2006)

These prohibitions were reaffirmed in 2009 in a letter to The New York Times and in a reminder to physicians of their ethical obligations regarding torture, in 2014:

“We firmly believe that U.S. policies on detainee treatment must comport with the AMA’s Code of Medical Ethics and the World Medical Association’s Declaration of Tokyo, which forcefully state medicine’s opposition to torture or coercive interrogation and prohibit physician participation in such activities,”