Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2392398
 


 



Another Look at the Legal and Ethical Consequences of Pharmacological Memory Dampening: The Case of Sexual Assault


Jennifer A. Chandler


University of Ottawa - Common Law Section

Alexandra Mogyoros


University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law

T. Martin Rubio


Independent

Eric Racine


Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal

January 1, 2014

Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, Vol. 41, No. 4, 2013
Ottawa Faculty of Law Working Paper No. 2014-02

Abstract:     
Research on the use of propranolol as a pharmacological memory dampening treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder is continuing and justifies another look at the legal and ethical issues raised in the past. We summarize the general ethical and legal issues raised in the literature so far, and we select two for in-depth reconsideration. We address the concern that a traumatized witness may be less effective in a prosecution emerging from the traumatic event after memory dampening treatment. We analyze this issue in relation to sexual assault, where the suggestion that corroborating evidence may remedy any memory defects is less likely to be helpful. We also consider the clinical ethical question about a physician’s obligation to discuss potential legal consequences of memory dampening treatment. We conclude that that this latter question reflects a general problem related to novel medical treatments where the broader socio-legal consequences may be poorly understood, and suggest that issues of this sort could usefully be addressed through the promulgation of practice guidelines.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 39

Keywords: neuroethics; neuroscience and law; memory dampening; witness; post-traumatic stress disorder; sexual assault

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Date posted: February 9, 2014 ; Last revised: March 19, 2014

Suggested Citation

Chandler, Jennifer A. and Mogyoros, Alexandra and Rubio, T. Martin and Racine, Eric, Another Look at the Legal and Ethical Consequences of Pharmacological Memory Dampening: The Case of Sexual Assault (January 1, 2014). Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, Vol. 41, No. 4, 2013; Ottawa Faculty of Law Working Paper No. 2014-02. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2392398

Contact Information

Jennifer A. Chandler (Contact Author)
University of Ottawa - Common Law Section ( email )
57 Louis Pasteur Street
Ottawa, K1N 6N5
Canada
613-562-5800 ext. 3286 (Phone)
613-562-5124 (Fax)

Alexandra Mogyoros
University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law ( email )
57 Louis Pasteur Street
Ottawa, K1N 6N5
Canada
T. Martin Rubio
Independent
No Address Available
Eric Racine
Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal ( email )
110 avenue des Pins Ouest
Montreal, Quebec H2W 1R7
Canada
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