Vol VIII, Issue 4 Date of Publication: October 09, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.20529/IJME.2023.046

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Narcoanalysis is neither effective nor ethical: Response to Dr Harish Gupta

Jinee Lokaneeta
This is in response to Dr. Harish Gupta’s letter [1] commenting on my editorial titled "Police investigation and unethical ‘scientific interrogation’” [2] in the January-March 2023 issue of the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics. I had written in light of the resurgence in the use of narcoanalysis (truth serums) ─ especially in the Shraddha Walkar murder case, against the accused, Aaftab [2]. I appreciate the author’s engagement with the editorial and his acknowledgement of the challenges within the Indian criminal justice system, including the large numbers of undertrials jailed for years together, and the many documented instances of police torture during investigation that go unpunished. The case of police torture from Tamil Nadu in which even an IPS officer was directly involved in the brutal torture is just one recent reminder of how prevalent custodial torture is [3]. Hence, the main point of disagreement appears to be regarding the use of narcoanalysis in investigations. I do agree with Dr Gupta that narcoanalysis is not just used for confessions but is also claimed to yield leads and information during investigation. However, the question remains whether the use of narcoanalysis is either ethical or effective, which is the focus in my editorial. Here I quote Dr. Gupta...

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©Indian Journal of Medical Ethics 2023: Open Access and Distributed under the Creative Commons license ( CC BY-NC-ND 4.0),
which permits only non-commercial and non-modified sharing in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

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