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Zolpidem, complex sleep-related behaviour and volition

McMahon, Marilyn 2016, Zolpidem, complex sleep-related behaviour and volition, Journal of law and medicine, vol. 24, no. 2, pp. 455-477.

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Title Zolpidem, complex sleep-related behaviour and volition
Author(s) McMahon, Marilyn
Journal name Journal of law and medicine
Volume number 24
Issue number 2
Start page 455
End page 477
Total pages 22
Publisher Lawbook Co.
Place of publication Rozelle, N.S.W.
Publication date 2016
ISSN 1320-159X
Keyword(s) zolpidem
automatism
Summary A commonly prescribed hypnotic, Zolpidem, has been linked to accidentaldeath, driving offences and a very uncommon legal defence – automatism.The deaths and prima facie criminal behaviour that have triggered legal concern and considerable publicity have occurred while the person was in a sleep-like state and apparently acting involuntarily after ingesting the drug. Australian courts have had a mixed response to these claims, and have closely examined the expert evidence that is essential to establishing the link between the conduct and the medication. Accepting that a connection has been established, in 2014 a Victorian Coroner suggested that guidelines issued in Australia should reduce recommended dosages of Zolpidem and increase warnings about adverse effects. However, forensic issues associated with unpredictable, complex sleep-related behaviour triggered by Zolpidem will not be resolved entirely by these changes. Exploration of the legal implications of this conduct is essential as the issue is likely to be of continuing and particular significance in Australia, where reports of adverse effects associated with this hypnotic have been more frequent than in other countries.
Language eng
Field of Research 180110 Criminal Law and Procedure
18 Law And Legal Studies
11 Medical And Health Sciences
Socio Economic Objective 940403 Criminal Justice
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, Lawbook Co.
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30091083

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Faculty of Business and Law
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