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Contraceptive RiskThe FDA, Depo-Provera, and the Politics of Experimental Medicine$
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William Green

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781479876990

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479876990.001.0001

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Chemical Castration

Chemical Castration

The Johns Hopkins Clinic and People v. Gauntlett

(p.169) 5 Chemical Castration
Contraceptive Risk

William Green

NYU Press

Judith Weisz's story of the politics of drug risk management comes full circle by returning to the FDA's limited control over Depo-Provera's experimental use first explored in Chapter 1. Now her story focuses on the drug's use by Dr. Fred Berlin at the Johns Hopkins Clinic and his failure to acquire FDA approval to test the drug on convicted sex offenders, to receive informed consent from his subjects, and to provide credible scientific evidence of the drug's safety and effectiveness as a means for chemical castration. In this setting, Roger Gauntlett's story joins Judith Weisz's when he is convicted of criminal sexual conduct and sentenced by a Michigan trial court judge to five years’ probation on the condition that he use Depo-Provera at the Johns Hopkins Clinic program, a sentence overturned by the state supreme court. His story analyzes the risk management roles of state trial judges who impose Depo-Provera as probation condition and state legislatures that grant trial judges the authority to mandate the drug's use as a parole condition. To protect themselves from Depo-Provera's serious side effects, his story tells these convicted sex offenders to use their federal constitutional rights to challenge Depo-Provera sentencing conditions.

Keywords:   chemical castration, constitutional rights, informed consent, probation condition, parole condition, sex offenders

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