The Manipulation of Human Behavior

By Albert D. Biderman; Herbert Zimmer | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 3
The use of drugs in interrogation

LOUIS A. GOTTSCHALK


Introduction

The purpose of this chapter is to review available scientific knowledge on the use of pharmacologic agents to influence the communication of information which, for one reason or another, an informant does not wish to reveal. This problem in communication is not an unfamiliar one to the psychiatrist, who often aims to recover unconscious conflicts or memories from the neurotic or psychotic patient in the hope of producing therapeutic benefit. The purpose of this chapter, however, is not so much to review our knowledge on how to bring to a person's awareness, the feelings, impulses, and ideas of which he is not consciously aware; rather, the object is to focus particularly on the problem of getting data from a source of information when the individual is aware of the information but does not want to communicate it, either because the giving might incriminate him or put into possible jeopardy an aggregate of people toward whom he feels strong allegiance, identification, and belonging.

In the physician's customary role as a helping person and as a healer, it is generally contrary to his method of operation to employ any coercion, overt or subtle, to induce a patient to behave in a way that may be detrimental to himself or to his social or national group of origin. Coercion may be used, however, if the patient is considered to be behaving in a manner that is destructive to himself (e.g., a diabetic refusing to take insulin or an alcoholic refusing to stop drinking) or to his social group. Furthermore, the code of ethics, particularly of the psychiatrist, ordinarily binds the physician to keep

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