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Defense Department releases new medical policies for detainees

[JURIST] US Department of Defense officials Monday released [press statement] a new policy on responsibilities of military healthcare providers to detainees. The memorandum [PDF], circulated internally last week [JURIST report], reaffirms standards similar to those used in US federal prisons, indicating that military healthcare personnel have a duty to protect the physical and mental health of detainees, and establishes a clear separation of duties between "personnel providing healthcare to detainees and behavioral science personnel consulting with interrogators". Earlier this month, an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine [text] alleged that military interrogators at Guantanamo had access to detainees' medical records, and had exploited information from the records during questioning. A Pentagon spokesman insisted again Monday that DOD had "no credible evidence that a military physician participated in detainee abuse."

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