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April 8, 2002

CCLE Fights Government's Forced-Drugging of Dentist in Federal Court

The Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics (CCLE) today filed an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief with the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals asking the court to reconsider its recent decision permitting the government to continue forcibly injecting a St. Louis dentist with mind-altering drugs. Dr. Sell is currently being administered drugs against his will in an effort to make him "competent to stand trial" on federal fraud charges.

"The Eighth Circuit has found that Dr. Sell poses no danger to himself or others, yet the Court continues to allow the government to drug him," said Richard Glen Boire, the attorney who filed the brief for the CCLE, a law and policy center that encourages social policies that respect and protect the full potential and autonomy of the human intellect.

The CCLE's legal brief argues that the government's forced-drugging of Dr. Sell, is an unconstitutional violation of his fundamental right to cognitive liberty and freedom of thought, a right protected by the First Amendment. "By altering a personís mind with the forced administration of drugs, the government commits an act of cognitive censorship and mental manipulation, an action even more offensive to democratic principles than the censorship of speech," argues the brief.

"What's happening to Dr. Sell is unconscionable," said Mr. Boire, adding "Dr. Sell is innocent until proven guilty, and is under no obligation to think the way the government wants him to think. His mind is his own, not the government's." 

Ironically, the government's insistence that Dr. Sell can be forcibly administered mind-altering drugs, is diametrically opposed to its "just say no" policy with respect to other mind-altering drugs. 

"On the one hand the government is bent on creating a "Drug Free America," while on the other hand it forces a citizen to take mind-altering drugs despite his repeated objection," said Mr. Boire. "The only thing consistent here is the government's astonishingly arrogant assertion that it has the power to determine which mind states and types of thinking are allowed and which it can prohibit or coerce." 

The case was the subject of an article by conservative columnist Phyllis Schalfly.

Resources:

Complete Index of Dr. Sell Materials.

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