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November 1956

Police Drugs.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1956;98(5):674. doi:10.1001/archinte.1956.00250290134018

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This is a translation (by Lawrence J. Bendit) of Jean Rolin's impassioned and almost vituperative protest against the use of "police drugs," which term includes all the agents used or misused as "truth serum" equivalents. His ire was aroused by the case of a French policeman from whom an injection of Pentothal brought forth what was presumed to be a confession that later proved to be erroneous, but which in the meanwhile convicted the innocent man of being a collaborationist during the German occupation.

There is a historical account of the various drugs used to elicit "confessions," together with somewhat of an appraisal of their actions. Most of the book deals with the medicolegal and moral aspects of diverting the usual functions of the physician from the realm of diagnosing and treating disease to that of detecting and informing as to criminal matters. As a Frenchman, Rolin makes most of

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