Adolescent Psychiatry

Lois T. Flaherty
Harvard University Medical School
Cambridge, MA


Mental Health Services for Minor Detainees at Guantanamo

Author(s): Neil Krishan Aggarwal and Andres J. Pumariega

Affiliation: New York State Psychiatric Institute, 1051 Riverside Drive, Rm.1703, New York, NY 10032, USA.


This article addresses the bioethical implications of child and adolescent mental health services for Guantanamo minor detainees, hitherto unexplored since the American War on Terror. First, the literature on child soldiers is reviewed as a standard to measure treatment of minor detainees. Next, frameworks for mental evaluations with children and adolescents are surveyed given the complexity of issues involved. Afterwards, the cases of Mohammed Jawad and Omar Khadr are analyzed through interviews with key informants. The article concludes that the American government can improve future treatment of child soldiers by tailoring medical services for children and adolescents, providing regular access to caregivers and systematically obtaining informed consent, enforcing least restrictive environments, and emphasizing rehabilitation to punishment.

Keywords: Child and adolescent psychiatry, Guantanamo, human rights, mental health services, rehabilitation, war on terror, detainees, tailoring, American War on Terror

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Article Details

Page: [325 - 332]
Pages: 8
DOI: 10.2174/2210676611101040325