The use of psychologists to aid government interrogations at places such as Guantanamo Bay has triggered an acrimonious ethical debate as the American Psychological Association considers banning the practice altogether, the New York Times reports. Some say psychologists are used to “break” detainees—in some cases illegally—while others argue that psychologists must be present during questioning to ensure the safety of both the detainee and the interrogator.
“It’s really a fight for the soul of the profession,” said one psychologist who wants to ban the practice. Others disagree. “There’s no doubt that the psychologist’s presence can be abused,” said another. “But if there’s no presence at all, then there’s no accountability.” Adds another: “You don’t shut down the whole operation because certain individuals behaved unethically.” (Read more interrogation techniques stories.)