Dr. Emmette Flynn: Scoping Gray's Anatomy

 Posted on February 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

[Dr. Emmette] Flynn stated that he did not ask for Gray's consent for the proctoscopic exam and that at the time he made the decision, he had not reviewed the search warrant or Gray's medical history. For Gray's proctoscopic exam, two sedatives (Versed and Etomidate) were administered to Gray intravenously. Though the doctors later testified at the suppression hearing that the risks associated with the sedatives were low, Gray was placed on a number of monitors to measure Gray's cardiovascular status during the examination. The sedatives carry with them a risk of respiratory depression or arrest. Proctoscopy also has associated risks, including pain and potential anal bleeding or perforation. Flynn admitted that proctoscopic exams are usually not conducted on uncooperative patients. At the time that the doctors decided to perform the proctoscopic exam, there were other less intrusive means available to try to recover the suspected drugs, including a cathartic or an enema-neither of which would have involved sedation.

Dr. Emmette Flynn's search was unreasonable ("the proctoscopy here was a greater affront to Gray's dignitary interest than full-on exploratory surgery"), but the seizure by the police of the fruits of the search was permissible under the good-faith exception.

Fifth Circuit opinion here.

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