Anal Probes And The Drug War: A Look At The Ethical And Legal Issues

Last week, news wires, blogs and pundits lit up with the
horrifying story of David Eckert, a New Mexico man who last January
was subjected to a series of invasive and degrading drug search
procedures after a traffic stop. The procedures, which included
x-rays, digital anal penetration, enemas and a colonoscopy, were
all performed without Eckert’s consent…

Days later, a second resident of New Mexico came forward with
similar allegations. Timothy Young says that after a traffic stop
in October 2012, he too was subjected to x-rays and a digital anal
exam without his consent. New Mexico news station KBO-TV was
first to report both incidents, which were performed by
physicians at the Gila Regional Medical Center in Silver City, New
Mexico. In both cases, doctors and police failed to find any
illegal drugs.

A third alleged victim has since come forward, although
this woman says her anal and vaginal searches, x-rays and CAT scans
came courtesy of federal border patrol agents, and without a

These incidents raise troubling questions about how the criminal
justice system and medical establishment could allow for such
extreme and invasive measures based on such little suspicion for
nonviolent drug offenses. Oddly, according to constitutional
scholars and medical ethicists I’ve consulted, the indignities
imposed upon Eckert and Young were both illegal
and unethical. And yet it also may be that (a) none of the law
enforcement officials or medical personnel responsible for the
violations are likely to be held accountable in any way, and (b)
they could probably do it all again tomorrow, and still wouldn’t
likely be held accountable.

Read this full article at The Agitator

from Hit & Run

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