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Scientific and technological advances become irrevocable traits of the

culture-however drastic the problems of assimilation and adjustment they

engender, and however disturbing the value choices they pose. This is true

not only of major advances like Freud's concept of the role of the unconscious

in human behavior but also of less seminal developments like the druginduced

interview (narcoanalysis),' which has become an implement of

psychiatry and with which we are here concerned. Our goal is to further

understanding of the proper conditions and limitations of its use, and of its

potentialities for abuse. We attempt to appraise narcoanalysis from three

points of view: (1) What is it; (2) Under what conditions, if any, will its

use (voluntary and involuntary) promote the best interests of the community

(which is to say, of all individuals); and (3) How adequate is existing law

to facilitate its appropriate use and discourage its misuse?

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