Erowid References Database
“A physician's response to the psychedelic experience in the death encounter. Response to Pahnke lecture by a physician.”.
Psychedelic Review. 1971;11:15-17.
Reference is make to the article by Dr. Pahnke on psychedelic drugs and alleviation of the death encounter. Two major areas may present pitfalls to which attention is directed: the conclusions can be based only upon sound methodology; and the individualšs privacy must be safeguarded even in the last hours. What has been presented is not facts, but an area of hope. The results recounted are based entirely upon subjective responses and symptoms, and conclusions are drawn without the use of mandatory controls. In a meaningful evaluation of LSD, it must be known whether it is the LSD or the strong suggestion which precedes the drug which is operant in this situation; the powerful action of the placebo has been unequivocally demonstrated. Apart from the serious difficulties stemming from the established potential dangers of LSD as a drug, there are those possibly arising from violations of privacy. Man has the right to die as well as the right to be 'let alone'. The study of dying could threaten privacy, and we must be certain mat enthusiasm for scientific investigations does not overshadow this precept of privacy. In Dr. Pahnke's study there is clearly no threat of unreasonable invasion of privacy, but the potential dangers must not be over looked. 8 references.
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