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Should Law Enforcement Use Ketamine to Sedate People?

Should Law Enforcement Use Ketamine to Sedate People?

On August 24, 2019, under the direct order of police, and Aurora, CO fire paramedic physically detained and sedated Elijah McClain with 500 mg of ketamine, 50% higher than what’s prescribed for “excited delirium syndrome,” even though McClain did not display signs of this syndrome. A few days later, McClain was declared dead. This is only one of many similar incidences of chemical restraint being disproportionally used against Black, indigenous, and people of color. An organization of psychiatric providers trained in the use of ketamine to treat mental illnesses have issued a public statement on how they feel ketamine should be administered. 

In this video, Dr. Carl Spitzer, a co-author and signer of the statement, who’s an emergency physician with 30 years, and has worked in ketamine therapy for the past two years, discusses how ketamine is used as a sedative, whether law enforcement should administer it, and a group of ketamine therapists who’ve spoken out against the fatal use of ketamine to sedate Elijah McClain.

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