Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1846784
 
 

Footnotes (119)



 


 



Drug Abuse: An Exploration of the Government's Use of Mefloquine at Guantanamo


Mark Denbeaux


Seton Hall University - School of Law

Sean August Camoni


affiliation not provided to SSRN

Brian Beroth


affiliation not provided to SSRN

Mehgan Chrisner


affiliation not provided to SSRN

Chrystal Loyer


Seton Hall University, School of Law '13

Paul W. Taylor


Seton Hall University - School of Law - Center for Policy & Research

Kelli Stout


affiliation not provided to SSRN

May 19, 2011

Seton Hall University School of Law Center for Policy & Research Paper No. 2010-33

Abstract:     
Mefloquine is an antimalarial drug that has long been known to cause severe neuropsychological adverse effects such as anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, aggression, psychotic behavior, mood changes, depression, memory impairment, convulsions, loss of coordination (ataxia), suicidal ideation, and possibly suicide, particularly in patients with a history of mental illness. A prescribing physician must exercise caution and informed judgment when weighing the risks and potential benefits of prescribing the drug. To administer this drug with its severe potential side effects without a malaria diagnosis and without taking a patient’s mental health history is not medically justified. Yet as a matter of official policy, the standard operating procedure implemented by the United States military at Guantanamo Bay was to administer high doses of mefloquine to detainees whether or not any use of the drug was medically appropriate and without consideration of the detainees’ mental health.

It is clear that the military employed a medically inappropriate treatment regime at Guantanamo Bay (GTMO). It is less clear why, although the available evidence supports several possible conclusions. In view of the continued and unexplained refusal of the government to release full medical records for all detainees, it is not possible to determine whether this conduct was gross malpractice or deliberate misuse of drug. In either case, it does not appear plausible from the available evidence that mefloquine was given to treat malaria. This suggests a darker possibility: that the military gave detainees the drug specifically to bring about the adverse side effects, either as part of enhanced interrogation techniques, experimentation in behavioral modification, or torture for some other purpose. While this Report does not reach a conclusion about the actual conduct, it does explore the legal rules that would apply were it determined that mefloquine was administered not to treat malaria but rather to exploit the neuropsychiatric effects of the drug.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 32

Keywords: Guantanamo, torture, detention, medicine, treatment, medical experimentation, bioethics, physicians, doctors, malaria, mefloquine, hallucination, disorientation, suicide, mental health, interrogation, malpractice, behavioral modification, drug, physician, doctor

Accepted Paper Series


Download This Paper

Date posted: May 24, 2011 ; Last revised: May 31, 2011

Suggested Citation

Denbeaux, Mark and Camoni, Sean August and Beroth, Brian and Chrisner, Mehgan and Loyer, Chrystal and Taylor, Paul W. and Stout, Kelli, Drug Abuse: An Exploration of the Government's Use of Mefloquine at Guantanamo (May 19, 2011). Seton Hall University School of Law Center for Policy & Research Paper No. 2010-33. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1846784

Contact Information

Mark Denbeaux (Contact Author)
Seton Hall University - School of Law ( email )
One Newark Center
Newark, NJ 07102-5210
United States
Sean August Camoni
affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )
Brian Beroth
affiliation not provided to SSRN
Mehgan Chrisner
affiliation not provided to SSRN
Chrystal Loyer
Seton Hall University, School of Law '13 ( email )
One Newark Center
Newark, NJ 07102-5210
United States
Paul W. Taylor
Seton Hall University - School of Law - Center for Policy & Research ( email )
One Newark Center
Newark, NJ 07102-5210
United States
Kelli Stout
affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 450
Downloads: 54
Download Rank: 225,054
Footnotes:  119

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo8 in 0.235 seconds