Drugging and deportation

Today's Daily Journal has a front page story by Sandra Hernandez reporting on the forcible drugging and botched deportation of two men by agents for the Department of Homeland Security. In both cases, she reports, airline officials at LAX refused to transport the deportees. In the case of a Senegalese man, he had a legal stay allowing him to remain in the U.S.

Medical experts said the druggings raise concerns of an ethical breach.

"In my opinion that is completely inappropriate," said Erik Roske, a forensic psychiatrist and member of the American Psychiatric Association's committee on the mentally ill in prisons.

"Every correctional standard guideline says these drugs are to be used for medical reasons, not for restraints," Roske said.

He and others questioned why psychotropic drugs such as Haldol, used to treat psychosis, were used as sedatives. "They could have potentially very damaging side effects," he said. "These aren't drugs that most general practitioners prescribe."

Immigration officials said they don't use drugs to ease deportation or for anything but medical reasons.

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