New York Personal Injury Law Blog » Medical Ethics


February 17th, 2012

Medical Ethics and Law

This question comes courtesy of Houston criminal defense attorney Mark Bennett at Defending People:

When can a doctor perform a nonconsensual and medically unnecessary sedation and proctoscopic exam on a criminal suspect? The question is not academic, but comes from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in US v. Gray.

The police got a search warrant on Gray, believing he’d concealed cocaine in his rectum. The Court found that “the search was unreasonable but that the evidence should not be suppressed because the police acted in good-faith reliance on a valid search warrant.”

But a question lingers. Why did the doctor, a hospital’s trauma medical director, do it? And did he violate his Hippocratic oath in the process? He performed a medical procedure on a patient without his consent, that was not medically necessary and not medically beneficial.

I’m not sure how many docs are still part of my readership, but it sure would be interesting to see their views on this….maybe Kevin, M.D., Grunt Doc, Movin’ Meat or Dr. Wes (or anyone else) might want to weigh in.

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