“Medical torture may be called medical interrogation if it involves the use of their expert medical knowledge to facilitate interrogation or corporal punishment, in the conduct of torturous human experimentation or in providing professional medical sanction and approval for the torture of prisoners. Medical torture also covers torturous scientific (or pseudo-scientific) experimentation upon unwilling human subjects.”
Tables Turned On Doctor That Medically Paralyzed Police Suspect For Anal Cavity Search
A Tennessee Doctor has found the tables turned on him after medically paralyzing a suspect that police wanted to conduct an anal cavity search on for drugs. As it turns out, using the Nuremberg defense (“I was just following orders”) isn’t going to cut it as a judge has recently ruled that the doctor is not immune from prosecution.
According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, Felix Booker was pulled over and questioned by an officer he’d had dealings with before. Apparently having busted Booker with marijuana in the past, Oak Ridge Police Department Officer Daniel Steakley decided to deploy the use of a drug sniffing K-9.
They found on Booker two baggies with both marijuana and a “white powder” residue in them, but it wasn’t enough to arrest him. After doing so anyways, the officer noted that Booker was “squirming” during the ride to jail, prompting him to think something may have been stashed in Booker’s rectum.
Although he initially consented to an anal cavity search, he wouldn’t stop clenching his buttocks together while officers tried to conduct the search despite being injecting with a muscle relaxer. It was at this time that Dr. Michael LaPaglia suggested the use of a paralyzing agent that would render him so compliant that he wouldn’t even be able to breathe unassisted.
After placing a tube down his throat and attaching it to a ventilator, he was injected with the drug where he was utterly defenseless for 8 minutes while police carried out the investigation. Needless to say, the search yielded 10.2 grams of crack cocaine and Booker spent the next hour of his life on the ventilator until the drug fully made its way out of his system.
Since that time, however, a judge overturned the ruling on an appeal, saying that the search – which “shocked the conscience” – was a direct violation of Booker’s Fourth Amendment rights. Because of their actions, those seeking to enforce the law may find themselves on the receiving end.
Although the attorneys defending LaPaglia say he’s immune from prosecution because he was simply doing his job as “a tool to perform a search on Booker’s person,” the courts see it otherwise. According to Think Progress, “This type of intrusion, they held, ‘is one of the greatest dignitary intrusions that could flow from a medical procedure.’ (quoting from another decision) ‘Such a procedure is degrading to the person being probed—both from his perspective and society’s.’”
Although police have a right to enforce the law, they must also do it while following the rules set before them as well. Booker was indeed guilty, but unfortunately the officer’s actions allowed him to go free on a technicality.
It is this reason precisely why our society holds police officers to a higher standard – to ensure criminals are not only put away, but done so in a way in which they can’t argue the “fairness” of their arrest.
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