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Michael Johnson Jr. Humanities & American Studies Department, Center for Social & Political Thought, University of South Florida.

Criminalizing Sexual Deviancy: The ‘Queer’ Legacy of US Immigration Justice in Boutillier v. US

United States policy regarding the admissibility of Queer peoples has had a problematic history.  The use of the biomedical model to pathologized “deviancy” in terms of human sexuality has historically problematized the definition and application of “citizenship” for many American immigrants. Indeed, as recently as the 1980’s it was the legislative policy of the United States to require psychiatric examination of queer individuals, under prevailing rules on “psychological” diagnosis of deviancy, for evaluation for citizenship.  The purpose of this paper is to expose the historical truths associated with this policy and discuss in depth the practices employed by the US government in furtherance of this goal in the pivotal Boutillier v. INS Supreme Court Case. The goal of this presentation will be to illuminate the complex evolution of medical thought on sexual deviancy and application of the medical discipline’s thinking to US legislative policies.

SESSION 30.

Prison Psychiatry and Human Rights

Dorothy Proctor.  Activist and Author, Toronto, ON

Kathleen Kendall. School of Medicine, University of Southampton

Testing the Limits of Justice: Human Experimentation in Canadian Prisons II

Based upon extensive archival research, legal documentation, interviews and first-hand accounts, this presentation provides an overview of human experimentation conducted in Canadian prisons during the twentieth century. Although a wide range of experiments were carried out, they can be roughly categorised into three main types. ‘Therapeutic’ experimentation was legitimated on the grounds that it helped to discover the cause and cure of criminality. These studies included the administration of painful electric shocks, sensory deprivation, LSD and other drugs. ‘Non-therapeutic’ experiments were carried out in conjunction with pharmaceutical companies and other corporate interests. In these studies, prisoners were used to test such products as vitamins, aspirins, antibiotics, enema packs, food additives and pesticides. Finally, experiments designed to improve methods of ‘prison management’ employed solitary confinement and sensory deprivation. Factors contributing to these practices will be addressed and the paper will conclude by arguing that the dishonourable history of prison experimentation is not a thing of the past.

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