The California Courts & Sodium Amytal

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Interesting information: Press release from Richard Harrington, Attorney for Gary Ramona Ramona v Ramona August 22, 1997 The California Court of Appeal by decision of August 19 1997 ordered that an action by Holly Ramona charging her father with childhood sexual abuse be dismissed because she offered no credible evidence to support her charges. One of the experts relied upon by Holly Ramona in her action was Laura S. Brown PhD. who recently came in last out of five candidates for the office of president of the American Psychological Association. In her article “The Private Practice of Subversion, Psychology as Tikkun Olam,” 52 American Psychologist, 449 April 1997, Dr Brown states that she sees psychology as a path for social chance rather than as a medical intervention. Dr Brown continues: My discussion of these dilemmas emerges from the perspective of feminist psychology … I talked about how the job of the feminist therapist is the subversion of patriarchy in the client, the therapist, and the therapy process and argued that the initial and ultimate “client” of feminist therapy is the culture, with the first responsibility always to the project of ending oppression that is at the core of feminism. The California Court of Appeal in its opinion filed on August 19, 1997 referred to the opinion of Martin T Orne, MD PhD. of the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, an expert witness for Gary Ramona who stated: [b]”sodium amytal is, in some aspects, even more problematic than hypnosis in its affects of producing false memories and confabulations. If the patient is concerned about sexual matters, he or she will tend to recall sexual experiences. This is likely to forever distort the memory of the subject.”[/b] The court stated of the opinion of Holly Ramona’s expert witness, Colin Ross MD FRCP, University of Manitoba that Dr. Ross’ declaration was insufficient to create a triable issue of fact. His statements that “memory contamination can occur during a sodium amytal interview: and “the risk of contamination is increased” support our determination that Holly’s testimony must be excluded under Kelly. The decision referred to People v Kelly (1975) 17 Cal.3d 24. Under Kelly a “new scientific technique must be ‘sufficiently established to have gained general acceptance in the particular field to which it belongs.’ 17 Cal.3d at p. 30 (italics removed)” The court of Appeal held that the Kelly rule applied to exclude testimony of a person whose memory has been affected by a sodium amytal interview. In an earlier case the father, Gary Ramona,recovered judgment of $500,000 against the therapists of Holly Ramona. The jury in Gary Ramona’s malpractice action found by special verdict that the therapists were “negligent in providing health care to Holly Ramona by implanting or reinforcing false memories that plaintiff [Gary Ramona] had molester her as a child.” :arrow Source: —————————————————————————— The limits of verifiability are well illustrated by the relatively recent case of Romona v. Superior Court, supra, 57 Cal.App.4th 107, which involved a child’s lawsuit against her parent for childhood sexual abuse (not the parent against her therapist for a false memory of same). Essentially, the child’s first set of memories were prompted by the administration of a so-called “truth serum,” specifically sodium amytal. The accused father’s summary judgment motion in his daughter’s suit against him was denied but the appellate court stepped in and granted his writ petition and ordered it, precisely because the drug was unreliable. [b]The daughter’s drug-induced recollection of abuse was inadmissible. (See id. at p. 123.) Further, because the father presented unrebutted expert evidence that any testimony regarding childhood sexual abuse after the administration of the drug was inherently untrustworthy, summary judgment was appropriate. (See id. at pp. 124-125.)[/b] If there is a moral to the story for this case, it is again that there is no truth machine by which therapists can verify what appears to be a case of repressed memory. :arrow Source: [url=][/url]

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