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Adv.Shine Thomas (Advocate)     23 September 2008


Which medicine is used in Narcoanalysis?


 6 Replies

Shree. ( Advocate.)     23 September 2008

Dear Shine Thomas,

Narco Analysis Test or Narco Test: This refers to the practice of administering barbiturates or certain other chemical substances, most often Pentothal Sodium, to lower a subject's inhibitions, in the hope that the subject will more freely share information and feelings. The term Narco Analysis was coined by Horseley. Narco analysis first reached the mainstream in 1922, when Robert House, a Texas obstetrician used the drug scopolamine on two prisoners. Since then narco testing has become largely discredited in most democratic states, including the United States and Britain. There is a vast body of literature calling into question its ability to yield legal truth. Additionally, narcoanalysis has serious legal and ethical implications.

A person is able to lie by using his imagination. In the Narco Analysis Test, the subject's inhibitions are lowered by interfering with his nervous system at the molecular level. In this state, it becomes difficult though not impossible for him to lie. In such sleep-like state efforts are made to obtain "probative truth" about the crime. Experts inject a subject with hypnotics like Sodium Pentothal or Sodium Amytal under the controlled circumstances of the laboratory. The dose is dependent on the person's s*x, age, health and physical condition. The subject which is put in a state of hypnotism is not in a position to speak up on his own but can answer specific but simple questions after giving some suggestions. This type of test is not always admissible in the law courts. It states that subjects under a semi-conscious state do not have the mind set to properly answer any questions, while some other courts openly accept them as evidence. Studies have shown that it is possible to lie under narcoanalysis and its reliability as an investigative tool is questioned in most countries. A few democratic countries, India most notably, still continue to use narcoanalysis, but the result of such test can not be used as evidence in the court of law since it violates fundamental right against self-incrimination (Article 20(3) of the constitution of India). This has come under increasing criticism from the public and the media in that country. In India, the Narco Analysis test is done by a team comprising of an anesthesiologist, a psychiatrist, a clinical/forensic psychologist, an audio-videographer, and supporting nursing staff. The forensic psychologist will prepare the report about the revelations, which will be accompanied by a compact disc of audio-video recordings. The strength of the revelations, if necessary, is further verified by subjecting the person to polygraph and brain mapping tests.




SANJAY DIXIT (Advocate)     23 September 2008

Thanks for vital information.

Adv.Shine Thomas (Advocate)     23 September 2008

Dear Shree,

   Thanks  for immediate response

N.K.Assumi (Advocate)     23 September 2008

That was really very informative for criminal lawyer. Tanx Shree.

SHEKHAR MISHRA (public servant)     23 September 2008

Shree    is     always     accurate    and     to     the      point.Thanks!

H. S. Thukral (Lawyer)     24 September 2008

Barbiturate used is Sodium pentothal which is an ultra short-acting barbiturate, which sedates only for a few minutes. It slows down the heart rate, lowers blood pressure, and inhibits brain and spinal cord activity. Sodium amytal and Scopolamine are other drugs used. Some benzodiazepines have been used as truth agents; most notably, the temazepam for this purpose.

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