Equipping Police with Naloxone Spray and Decriminalizing All Opioid Use in the U.S.: An Ethical Analysis

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The number of police departments carrying Narcan keeps increasing at a fast pace throughout the U.S., as it is considered an effective measure to fight the opioid epidemic. However, there have been strong oppositions to the idea of the police Narcan use. Still, in 2018, the nation is debating about it. Though not clearly visible to the public, there are important ethical arguments against the police Narcan use which necessarily involve understanding of the ethical roles and responsibilities of police as the law enforcement agency and apprehension of the moral status of a non-therapeutic opioid use. The authors of the paper investigate, primarily, the existing ethical controversies surrounding the police Narcan use while touching upon the issue of the decriminalizing drug policy in the U.S. The authors conclude that the police can carry and administer Narcan without self-contradiction and that the policymakers’ investigation on the drug decriminalization policy should begin with the understanding of the “common morality” of the American public, the ethical view shared and practiced by the greatest number of people.
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Why Naming Disease Differs From Naming Illness.Marvin J. H. Lee - 2018 - AMA Journal of Ethics 20 (12):E1195-1200.

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