In Reply: I appreciate Dr. Halpern's underscoring of the important fact that not everything that the courts rule to be legally acceptable is an appropriate activity for psychiatrists and other mental health professionals. Indeed, the judicial opinions that I cited in the column that allowed deception in interrogation of suspects dealt exclusively with the behavior of law enforcement personnel. It is an open question whether the courts would rule similarly with regard to deceptive practices by mental health personnel.
Whatever decision the courts would reach, as the primary drafter of the APA position statement that Dr. Halpern mentions, I would reemphasize his point: the role of a psychiatrist is not compatible with the job of an interrogator. Psychiatrists should not participate in interrogations.