- Published: June 5, 2015
Although they are classified as a form of torture according to international law, truth drugs, which are used to try to get information from someone who is unwilling to voluntarily give out the information, have been used in the past by India’s CBI (equivalent of FBI). A father of a dead girl was detained and drugged with one of these truth serums, sodium pentothal, and then based on this “evidence” he was declared innocent in July of 2008 (The Times). Later, another accomplice was being tested with the same drug. India started legally using this drug in 2000, but national debate has arisen about its use by police. Prisoners are taken to a forensic lab where they are given the drug by a doctor, inducing them into a trance-like state. A psychologist then asks the prisoner questions for about a half hour directly after getting the dose. Human rights and medical ethics advocates accuse police of using “narcoanalysis”, saying that the drug tends to be administered against the prisoner’s will and can cause health complications (The Times). It is regarded as a form of torture in other parts of the world because the drug has a side-effect of becoming drowsy, and doctors often have to slap prisoners to keep them awake. Even if an effective truth serum did exist, ethical questions like whether doctors should administer a drug for nonmedical purposes and how investigators would gain legal authority to drug a suspect against his will would surely arise (Martelle).
The Times http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article4339549.ece
Scott Martelle http://articles.latimes.com/2001/nov/05/news/cl-282
August Piper Jr., MD "'Truth serum' and 'recovered memories' of sexual abuse: a review of the evidence". Journal of Psychiatry & Law, Winter 1993 447-471.