The Resurgence of Polygraph “Lie-Detection” in an age of Evidence-Based Medicine

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On Junk-Science in the Medical Profession

A SPECIAL ME-P REPORT

By Michael Lawrence Langan MD

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If you are ever asked to take a polygraph test–don’t do it. Those involved in the criminal justice system, including lawyers, are largely uneducated in the realm of scientific scrutiny and experimental methodology.

They may not separate science and pseudo-science, and erroneously believe that the polygraph is an accurate scientific instrument. Their interactions are with polygraph examiners who proselytize its use, and they have little or no interaction with scientists, psychologists, and physicians who refute its use.

Refuse to take the test and educate them. Cite the Frye Doctrine, go to the medical library, copy the scientific articles which belie its validity, and present them to whomever requested you to take the test. State that the principles and assumptions underlying polygraphy are not supported by our understanding of psychology, neurology, and physiology.

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Junk-Science in the Medical Profession: The Resurgence of Polygraph “Lie-Detection” in an age of Evidence-Based Medicine.

Assessment

Then, put the burden of proof on their heads. Tell them to present you with scientific evidence that corroborates the validity of the test. There is simply no rational basis for a machine to detect liars.

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About the Author

Dr. Langan graduated from Oregon Health Sciences University School Of Medicine, Portland Oregon with an MD 21 years ago. He had his residency training of Geriatric Medicine-Internal Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medicine Center and Internal Medicine at St Vincent Hospital Medicine Center.

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The Resurgence of Polygraph “Lie-Detection” in an age of Evidence-Based Medicine.

via The Resurgence of Polygraph “Lie-Detection” in an age of Evidence-Based Medicine.

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The validation of the polygraph examination in forensic psychiatry

An interesting abstract to establish the validity of the use of lie detection techniques when establishing insanity.

Access the full site here.

 INTRODUCTION

There is increasing demand for psychiatric expert testimony in criminal proceedings. A person is responsible for his actions unless he is subject to the penal code, Section 34 h, insanity. Mental illness is not sufficient to determine insanity; it must be proven that the patient did not understand what he had done, did not comprehend the inappropriateness of his actions: or could not have avoided performing the deed. Opponents argue that the expert testimony is not scientific and not professional and alternatively that the mentally ill avoid responsibility even when there is no connection between the illness and the offence.

OBJECTIVES

The polygraph examination is an important instrument for confirming credibility of the testimony but it has not yet been investigated in the field of forensic psychiatry.

AIMS

To examine the validity of a polygraph examination in psychotic patients. To compare polygraph tests with psychiatric examinations.

METHODS

Patients were tested with a polygraph examination on there misjudged psychotic behaviour.

RESULTS

24 patients signed a consent form, but not all eventually participated. All patients received anti-psychotic medications. In general valid polygraph examination can be performed to patients with the psychotic illnesses (i.e. schizophrenia). Agitated or cognitive deprived patients tests were not reliable. The psychiatric examinations or the expert testimonies were in accord with the polygraph examination.

CONCLUSIONS

Preliminary data indicate that polygraph examinations are valid in patients with the psychotic illnesses. But not in agitated or cognitive deprived patients. Expert testimonies were found reliable in determining insanity.

 CAPTAIN PSYCHLITE

Psychlite

An interesting abstract to establish the validity of the use of lie detection techniques when establishing insanity.

Access the full site here.

 Introduction

There is increasing demand for psychiatric expert testimony in criminal proceedings. A person is responsible for his actions unless he is subject to the penal code, Section 34 h, insanity. Mental illness is not sufficient to determine insanity; it must be proven that the patient did not understand what he had done, did not comprehend the inappropriateness of his actions: or could not have avoided performing the deed. Opponents argue that the expert testimony is not scientific and not professional and alternatively that the mentally ill avoid responsibility even when there is no connection between the illness and the offence.

Objectives

The polygraph examination is an important instrument for confirming credibility of the testimony but it has not yet been investigated in the field of forensic psychiatry.

Aims

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