The following is the text of the complaint filed with the Office of Human Research Protection by Physicians for Human Rights and a host of co-sponsors. The complaint concerns evidence compiled by PHR of illegal and unethical human research experimentation by the CIA, in the latter's quest to form a new torture program implementing the reverse-engineered components of the Armed Forces' Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape schools, known as SERE.
COMPLAINT TO OFFICE OF HUMAN RESEARCH PROTECTIONS REGARDING EVIDENCE OF CIA VIOLATIONS OF COMMON RULE
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.