Updates with the American Psychological Association and Prisoner Interrogation

To update a previous post on the American Psychological Association’s (APA) stance on participation in national security interrogations, check the APA’s timeline. Specifically, in January the Department of Defense responded to APA’s October 2015 “letters to President Barack Obama and other key federal officials to notify them of APA’s new policy that includes a prohibition against psychologist participation in national security interrogations” (apa.org). Then, on February 9, 2016, APA issued a call for comments on its proposed ethics code revision on the same topic.

As one can see from the APA timeline (or having followed the news over the years), this issue has been plodding along over the last decade. Might there be lessons here for those hoping to introduce revisions to their own professional society’s code of ethics in a less protracted manner? Furthermore, are these changes inexorable developments that reasonable individuals would reach or a mere consequence of national press coverage?

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