The Hidden Turd: Improving ethics of the Pharma-funded Academic.

NY Times Photo

Yesterday in The Medical Xpress, an article was published ‘Depression study finds evidence of serotonin signal transduction disturbances’. Now according to the MX, it provides the latest research news on health and medicine, so this article will be read and believed by many. That it has dubious origins, is misleading and false, yet directed at vulnerable people, raises important medical ethics issues. What are the actual minimum standards imposed on medical ‘experts’ when dishing out information? Would the truth be a good place to start or is that too unattainable a task? One would assume that a basic standard of ethics is a forgone conclusion within medical research and a fundamental prerequisite when providing ‘the latest health and medicine news’. Not quite!

The MX article states that in celebration of 30 years since SSRI antidepressants were developed “a team from MedUni Vienna, led by Siegfried Kasper, Director of the University Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, has summarised the latest status of global research in this field in the leading journal, The Lancet Psychiatry”. According to the article, Siegfried Kasper was ‘one of the pioneers’ of treating depression with Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI antidepressants).

Kasper had a number of things to say, including “People laughed at us when we started treating depression with SSRIs 30 years ago..” Whether this treatment-induced mirth is true or not, is anyone’s guess, but doubtful according to our own Irish expert Dr David Healy, scientist, psychopharmacologist and expert in the mechanics of SSRIs. When asked to comment on the MX article, he said:

“This is rubbish and false. The idea that anyone ridiculed Siegfried Kasper or anyone for using SSRIs is bizarre but its very difficult to know whether Kasper or some PR agency wrote this as a considerable proportion of his output was at one point apparently ghost written.”

Courtesy of The Ethicalnag.org

So what pray tell is ghostwriting? Ghostwriting refers to the practice whereby pharmaceutical companies pay medical writers to write a draft research paper or article; then senior academics (Key Opinion Leaders) agree to put their name to it and are then falsely identified as having authored this ‘masterpiece’. So was Kasper’s latest endeavor another foregone conclusion, ghostwritten not by him, but by a writer on pharma’s payroll?  The MX article actually asserts the Serotonin basis of depression as factual, a ‘fact’ that has been widely exposed as fraudulent for many years. Whole books have been written on the serotonin fraud; see Dr Terry Lynch and ‘Depression Delusion Volume One: The Myth of the Brain Chemical Imbalance’.

So what exactly is wrong with ghostwriting you may ask? Most drug companies use ghostwriters, with apparently no limit of experts willing to risk their reputations for an extra dollop of pharma cash. The Bioethics Journal provides an insight into the practice of ghostwriting:

“Many ghostwritten articles do not involve data. For example, an academic physician might be approached by a medical communications agency to author a ghosted review article, which will masquerade as his or her expert opinion about the current state of a particular therapy or illness. In fact, a fair portion of pharmaceutical public relations does not involve medical journals at all, but a much wider ranger of communication vehicles, such as hospital lectures, conference symposia and CME events. In theory, these communications vehicles are supposed to be independent of industry influence; in practice, they are often funded and managed by industry. Until this funding source is cut off, the potential for influence will remain.”

Counterthink

Lundbeck, the Danish drug company that invented Celexa and Lexapro, was recently exposed for dubious practices in a report by the Indian drug regulator, the CDSCO. Section 7.31 of this CDSCO report concerned three individual experts (all professors), who gave recommendations in order to facilitate the approval of Lundbeck’s Sertindole. Far from giving an objective ‘expert opinion’, the report found “adequate documentary evidence to come to the conclusion that many opinions were actually written by the invisible hands of drug manufacturers and experts merely obliged by putting their signatures”. The report found a catalogue of wrongdoings, including the ghostwritten ‘expert’ submissions:

“three experts located at three different places (a Professor and Head of the Department of Psychiatry of Stanley Medical College, Chennai; Professor of SKP Psychiatric Nursing Home, Ahmedabad and a Professor and Head of the Department of Psychiatry of LTM Medical College, Mumbai) wrote letters of recommendation in nearly word-to-word, identical language and not surprisingly all of them used the incorrect full form of DCGI in the address! Is such a coincidence possible unless the person behind the scene who actually drafted the letters is one and the same person?”

The Xpress Article

Referring to treating depression, the Xpress article quoted Kasper as saying “Today it is State of the Art and we are able to quantify disturbances in serotonin signal transmission in the brain as the cause of depression and anxiety disorders.” False, false, false. There is absolutely no measure to quantify serotonin and to say that the latter is the ‘cause’ of depression and anxiety disorders is again plain fraud. According to Dr David Healy “We know almost nothing about what antidepressants actually do – we still don’t know what they do to serotonin. Rather than being effective like an antibiotic, these drugs have effects – as alcohol does. Their primary effect is to emotionally numb. Patients on them walk a tightrope as to whether this emotional effect is going to be beneficial or disastrous.”

Furthermore, stating that “the success rate is around 70%” is also not true. According to Peter Gøtzsche, medical researcher and leader of the Nordic Cochrane Center, SSRIs “are no better than placebo for mild depression, only slightly better for moderate depression, and benefit only one out of 10 with severe depression”.  

Kasper – “Their quality of life is enhanced and there is a significant and lasting improvement in their motivation and mood.” Far from consumers quality of life being enhanced and apart from the emotional numbing, the main lasting effect of taking SSRIs is sexual dysfunction (Gøtzsche 2015). Permanent sexual dysfunction? Not exactly the life-enhancer that consumers’ imagined.

In total contrast to Kasper’s Ssri MX ‘tale’, David Healy recently said “I believe the SSRI era will stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine.”

Leonie's Blog

Am I alone in thinking that it is unethical for Siegfried Kasper, or any medical professional, to be providing ‘the latest health and medicine news’ while simultaneously working with almost all SSRI manufacturers? He is in fact a busy pharma bee with many conflicts of interests (COIs). These can be found in another publication ‘The Hidden Third; improving outcome in treatment-resistant depression’ – incidentally, this paper inspired my title above – not sure whether others appreciate my (non-treatment-induced) wit.

Speaking of turds..

Where do they get the time?

Siegfried Kasper receives grants/research support from AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, Lundbeck, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Pharmaceutical, Sepracor, Servier, Novartis and Pfizer.

He also acts as a consultant for AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Pharmaceutical, Eli Lilly, Lundbeck, Pfizer, Janssen Pharmaceutical, Sepracor, Servier, Pierre Fabre, Wyeth, MSD and Schwabe.

He is also a speaker for AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Pharmaceutical, Eli Lilly, Lundbeck, Pfizer, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Servier, Pierre Fabre, Organon, CSC and GlaxoSmithKline.

Now that wasn’t mentioned in the MX article!

Lessons from Charleville..

O'Driscoll Brothers

This week an inquest was held into the deaths of Jonathan O’Driscoll and his twin brothers from Charleville, Co Cork. Jonathan fatally stabbed his beloved little brothers before killing himself last year (September 2014). It was just one of a number of shocking Irish murder-suicides in recent years.

Jonathan was looking for help. He had many visits with doctors, mental-health teams and at least one consultation with a psychiatrist. Instead, as is now common practice, the ‘help’ Jonathan received was drugs, drugs and more drugs. His final visit with a psychiatrist (Dr Bobby Burns), a few weeks before this tragedy ensued, led to a prescription for a new (as yet unnamed) drug. The dose was due to be increased over several months. The psychiatrist testified that he was deeply concerned that Jonathan might be exhibiting the early signs of schizophrenia but following this prescription ‘Jonathan’s mental health improved’. Inexplicably, the latter would seem to contradict the subsequent actions that led to the deaths of Jonathan, Thomas and Paddy.

It was reported in the Irish Independent that Jonathan’s mother was unaware of the amount of drugs that he was prescribed. She was “totally shocked” by the number of medications he was on, further stating “I found a lot of tablets after Jonathan had passed away, God speed him. He seemed to be on a lot of tablets”.

Despite the suicide and violence warnings attached to these powerful drugs, it should be noted that these deaths are not being associated with the prescribed drugs, but rather to Jonathan stopping the drugs (aka victim blaming). Toxicology tests indicated that he may not have been taking his medication in the days prior to the stabbing. Coroner Dr Michael Kennedy was told Jonathan most likely stopped taking anti-psychotic medication over 48 hours before the tragedy. Yet far from his mental health improving as suggested by Dr Burns, Jonathan had purchased a knife and other materials at least two weeks before the killings. So which was it – was Jonathan improved or worsened by this ‘new’ wonder drug? It seems interesting that this new drug wasn’t named – wouldn’t be good for business, that’s for sure.

Although toxicology results can be hugely unreliable – if it is in fact the case that Jonathan stopped taking the drugs, he would have been in horrific withdrawal – very similar to a street-drug addict. This doesn’t seem to be the case here, as there was a certain degree of pre-planning. I am also personally aware of a number of toxicology results which failed to show SSRI antidepressant use, at least not until the families insisted on a re-test. Either way, the multiple prescribed medications, psychiatrys’ quick fix, the pill for every ill, the new wonder drug, did not work. This young man did not get help – what he did get was a cocktail of mind-altering drugs.

Timeline:

November 2012 – Minor road accident. Jonathan began to frequently visit his GP complaining of aches and pains. No mention of what was prescribed.

Pre-April 2013 – Dr Thomas Molloy prescribed Jonathan anti-depressants.

April 2013 – Jonathan shows first sign of aggression and was referred for a psychiatric assessment.

February 2014 – A locum GP was so concerned about Jonathan’s mental health that he referred him for an urgent psychiatric assessment.

April 2014 – Jonathan was prescribed anti-psychotic drugs.

July 2014 – Consultant psychiatrist Dr Bobby Burns prescribed a new drug, with the dose due to increase incrementally over several months, and Jonathan’s mental health (supposedly) improved over the coming months.

August 2014 – Jonathan purchased a knife and other materials to be used in the killings.

September 4th, 2014 – Jonathan and his little brothers were found dead.

Truthman’s Article ‘What meds did they prescribe Jonathon O’Driscoll‘.

My RxISK Article ‘An Irish Epidemic: Suicide and Homicide on Antidepressants.

A survivor with a similar story ‘The Man Who Thought he was a Monster‘.

A Taste of Monaco

Maybe being 50 is not quite so bad after all. This is a (very temporary) detour from ‘depressive’ news. I thought I’d share a spectacular weekend with you and any would-be travelers to the Principality of Monaco.

Monaco's Fabulous Hercules Port - view from outside the train station.

Monaco’s Fabulous Hercules Port – view from outside the train station.

As I was always fascinated with Monaco and the Grimaldis, there is surely no better excuse for an impromptu trip than turning half a century. So armed with a wad of dough given to me by my family at the ‘don’t-mention-the-party’ party, we set of to Monaco – it would surely be rude not to spend it. Yes and before you ask, I relented and brought the lily-livered husband along for the ride.

We flew into Nice’s Cote d’Azur International Airport and took the short bus-ride from the airport into Monaco (40 mins on the 110). Not even the bus driver dropping us off as far away from the Hôtel de France as is geographically possible, could dampen our spirits; we were in absolute awe. What becomes immediately apparent is that this tiny country, the second smallest in the world, has one of the world’s wealthiest populations per capita and is home to only the beautiful people: the glitterati, the nouveau riche, the old riche, whatever which way rich. As most of us minions won’t make the forbes rich list, once you accept that the world is very unfairly divided (into glamorous millionaires billionaires and us plebs), then you can just sit back and inhale this beautiful place.

As my (arguably) better-half has a passion for fast cars and I have a thing for beautiful doorways, we were both in our element. The architecture was spectacular and fast expensive cars were everywhere: Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Bentleys, Porsches. We even saw a rolls-royce; I haven’t seen a Rolls since the one that sat outside the Mirabeau restaurant in Sandycove in the 1980s. Now those were the good old days.

Monaco Doorways

Cars, Cars and more Cars.

Cars, Cars and more Cars.

Our hotel, the ‘Hôtel de France’ on Rue de la Turbie, Monte Carlo, was perfectly situated around the corner from the Grimaldi Palace and five minutes from Hercules Port, where yachts the size of the HSS were parked inconspicuously (eh, no) cheek by jowl. Sometimes we just sat along the port, with a cocktail in hand and people watched. I was particularly fascinated with an elderly lady in a wheelchair being waited on hand and foot by two minders/carers. She looked every bit the wealthy heiress, but I didn’t recognise her. She and her minders looked pretty content though – who says money can’t buy happiness? The many nightclubs along the harbour went side by side with a childrens’ playground, numerous little pools and an amusement park. The atmosphere was electric, warm and felt very safe – although judging from the antics of some of the dancers, there was more being inhaled than just the atmosphere.

Monaco 3

We eventually made our way to the Prince’s Palace of Monaco, official home of the Grimaldi Royal family. The tour was surprisingly inexpensive, as were the lovely cafes and souvenir shops that surrounded it. The Palace itself was truly beautiful, packed with every priceless ornament and piece of furniture that you could possible imagine. Taking photographs was banned. While I was tempted to take a sneeky photo, a mutter about “respecting peoples wishes” from yer man made me reluctantly reconsider. Spoilsport!

The Prince's Palace, Monaco.

The Prince’s Palace, Monaco.

As we were so near Italy and having previously read this guy’s blog, we decided to take a trip to Ventimiglia which is approximately 30 minutes by train. I’m so glad I read this man’s account first – it was easy-peasy and well worth the trip. Fabulous cafes, markets, beaches and an old-town Italian experience. The beach was fab, but very rocky and the sea was very rough – I only saw the danger sign after we had been roughed around by the sea a bit. There was an unfortunate incident with shorts that I won’t go into, but suffice to say the day was memorable and a gorgeous day out. We also got to sit upstairs on the train – who knew double-decker trains existed? Better than a Lamborghini any day, I’d say.

Ventimiglia

All in all, Monaco was absolutely spectacular and I can’t wait to return some day. There are a few things that really surprised me about Monaco, one being that the Society of St. Vincent De Paul have an office there (Pic 1 below), two that houses like this exist (Middle Pic) and three, any train station can have a view like this (Pic 3).

Monaco 2

This was one little country that I will never forget and a holiday that I will treasure forever. Monaco is truly a very special place.

What part of ‘I DON’T WANT A PARTY’ did they not understand?

Turning 50..

Saturday

First things first, my worst nightmare would be a ‘milestone’ party, you know the one – where you’re the centre of attention, where all eyes are focused on how bloody marvelous you are for living this long. So as I’m turning the big Hawaii five-O next week, I’m thankful that my family are well aware of my wishes and wouldn’t dare to go against them. They’d go to the opening of an envelope that lot and can gather en masse within minutes at the sniff of a party.  I, on the other hand, can think of nothing worse than having people hiding in every nook and cranny of your house, ready to pounce into your unsuspecting face while manically screaming ‘SURPRISE’. Give the aged a heart-attack, why don’t ye? But it’s okay, my family and friends, having been pre-warned in no uncertain terms, just wouldn’t do that to me.

So just to be sure (as I don’t entirely trust them), I decided the best possible way to turn 50 and avoid giving the family any excuse for ‘partytime’ is to book a break-away with the poor long-suffering husband. That way any family members who have notions of singing ‘Congratulations’ while pouncing their Sallynoggin mush from behind my electrical appliances could get the feck lost! They can slink away reluctantly into the night and gatecrash someone elses birthday, wedding, wake (fill in as appropriate) celebrations. I’m having none of it.

I spent hours on the tinternet looking for a place to escape and decided that Monaco was far enough away. Despite the possibility of being ambushed by tourists as a ‘live’ Princess Grace (given my regal and genteel persona), I thought that Monte-Carlo would be far enough away from my family’s party-planning. The latter Princess Grace reference was a thought from my sister – laced with sisterly humour/sarcasm. So I reiterated, once again, for the purpose of clarity, in no uncertain terms, why I was escaping to a far-enough away country.

Today (Sunday)

Today is Sunday (19th of July 2015) and I’m feckin traumatised. While returning from ‘the big smoke’ last night, I was ambushed from behind the aforementioned electrical appliances. I should have known that my family would ignore me, a party is a party after all, whether wanted or not. A busload of genetically related (no doubt modified) Sallynoggin-heads sprang from behind the kitchen presses manically screaming ‘SURPRISE’. So what part of ‘I DON’T WANT A PARTY’ did they not understand? Is it the NOT word? Did they mistake my numerous loud protestations for WHY YES, A PARTY WOULD BE LOVELY, THANK YOU?

What started off as a composed affair quickly turned into an evening of much depravity and debauchery. Seriously, why can’t we ‘Irish’ just do high-tea? What’s so wrong with just meeting up for lunch or going out to dinner in a normal(ish) fashion? Instead a barbeque was brought down from Dublin, along with mountains of food and enough alcohol to fill an olympic sized swimming pool. My supposed friends never thought of warning me in advance, even for the purposes of making myself respectable for the camera. Even my mother played a willing part in the deception and I was totally oblivious. I did wonder why my brother came down to do the garden but put it down to him just being nice. The moral of the story – beware of men bearing lawn mowers!

The Last Word –

I’m thinking of changing the locks and barring the aforementioned ‘poor long-suffering husband’ from the family home. That’ll wipe the smug look off his face – totally justified for him allowing my family to railroad him into acquiescence, despite knowing full well of my wishes. So much for fair-weather spouses- anyone in need of a slightly battered ex-soul-mate? He’s so not coming to Monaco.

See below for the definition of disloyalty..

Some Expert quotes for the Purposes of Informed Consent..

18th July 2015.

For decades Psychiatry has pushed a false notion that antidepressants are safe. Slowly though the public are realising that in fact the opposite is true, that antidepressants are not as safe as once thought and instead can cause suicide, violence, mania, akathisia, worsening depression, severe withdrawal, long-term sexual dysfunction, birth defects, depersonalisation, etc, etc.

Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the antidepressants most widely prescribed today, once wrongly hailed as being ‘safer’ than the older tricyclic antidepressants. For every psychiatrist or misinformed, gullible doctor who proclaim these drugs are safe, there is an increasing body of experts whose names will be engraved in history for their attempts to save this and future generations from foreseeable harm.

Dr David Healy recently gave a stark warning on SSRIs. His attempts to warn the masses in order to avert further drug-induced tragedies, have spanned decades. Now though, it seems the stakes have changed – Dr Healy is not alone and there is an ever-increasing number of like-minded experts standing up in protest against this era’s ridiculous medical model.

So before you fill that prescription pad, think carefully. The following are recent, mostly original, quotes from around the world. You have been warned..

 

Dr David Healy, Author, Scientist, Psychiatrist, Psychopharmacologist, Founder of RxISK and world-renowned Medical expert, recently stated –

“I believe the SSRI era will stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine.”

Irving Kirsch, Author, lecturer at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center-

“I think that prescription of antidepressants will eventually be seen as the way bloodletting as a medical treatment is regarded today.”

Peter Gotzsche, Author, Physician, Medical researcher and Director of the Nordic Cochrane Center –

“There isn’t much happiness in the pills. Their most pronounced effect is to cause sexual disturbances… The drugs should therefore have been marketed as a formidable disrupter of your sex life, but that wouldn’t have sold many pills.”

Adam Urato, Author, Expert in Obstetrics & Gynecology, Assistant Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine, and Expert medical witness –

“The antidepressants freely cross over the placenta and into the developing fetus (baby) throughout the pregnancy. They have significant harmful effects for moms and babies including miscarriage, birth defects, preterm birth, preeclampsia, newborn complications, and long-term neurobehavioral problems. These chemical compounds—what we call antidepressants—are made in chemical factories and they go from these factories, into the pregnant moms, and then into the developing babies (fetuses). Nowadays, with 5 to 10% of all pregnancies being exposed to these drugs, what we are basically witnessing is a large scale human experiment. The track record of what happens when we expose developing babies to foreign chemical compounds is not good.  Chemicals have consequences for developing babies.”

Philip Cowen, MRC Clinical Scientist, Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist in Oxford University, and expert in Psychopharmacology –

“I do think it’s possible that in some circumstances SSRIs can lead to people behaving violently to themselves and others. It seems that the risk is apparent early in the course of treatment, particularly in younger people, and that’s why the NICE guidelines stress the importance of careful follow-up early in the antidepressant treatment of young, at risk patients.”

Dr Terry Lynch, Doctor, psychotherapist and author –

“Depression and antidepressants are part of a very large quagmire of misinformation regarding emotional and mental health. Depression is heavily marketed as a disease, yet it doesn’t even come close to meeting medically-accepted criteria for a disease (e.g. specific confirmatory evidence in the history, physical examination and investigations). Even psychiatry’s bible, the DSM, has no scientific basis, being the product of consensus and not science, Antidepressants change how people feel, therefore they should be called “mood-altering” substances. What we have come to see as “depression” is in truth a combination of woundedness/trauma; the distress (in its many forms) caused by woundedness; defense mechanisms we use in an attempt to survive and live as best we can in the circumstances; and choice-making, which is often compromised by the previous three. It is truly remarkable that modern societies have been lulled into believing that taking substances in such circumstances that alter how people feel is (a) appropriate, (b) scientific) and (c) safe.”

Bob Fiddaman, Author, Blogger and Mental Health Advocate –

“Antidepressants were designed to treat illnesses that were, themselves, designed by the pharmaceutical industry. Consequently, the fact that these drugs can maim and cause death through violence towards oneself and others, is therefore always irrelevant.”

AntiDepAware Brian, Blogger, statistician and Mental Health Advocate –

“It would help if the triumvirate of GPs, psychiatrists and coroners would show a bit of honesty, and help to make the public aware of the potential dangers inherent in the swallowing of antidepressant medication.”

Mrs AntiDepAware, Brains and Beauty behind the latter –

“Why should it be down to the bereaved and harmed to battle for greater awareness of the dubious nature of “antidepressants”? These are random chemicals which can never merit the term “medicine” until the day dawns when they are accompanied by effective information and support.”

Luke Montagu, heir to the Earl of Sandwich, co-founder of the Met Film School and co-founder of CEPUK –

Psychiatry is a corrupt and dishonest business: it treats so-called illnesses that don’t exist with drugs that don’t cure and can cause great harm. And once you have been harmed, it then diagnoses further illness and prescribes yet more drugs.”

Robert Whitaker, medical and science journalist, author, and founder of ‘Mad In America’ –

“.. modern studies have found that medicated depression is much more likely to run a chronic course. Indeed, in longitudinal studies, the disability rate for those who stay on antidepressants is much higher than for the unmedicated group. For instance, during a six-year NIMH study on depression that was conducted in the 1990s, the patients who took antidepressants were seven times more likely to become “incapacitated.” In a Canadian study on disability, antidepressant use was associated with a two-fold risk of going on to long-term disability.”

Peter Breggin, MD, psychiatrist, author and medical expert-

“.. evidence continues to converge on the dangerousness of antidepressant drugs. Given the difficulty showing any effectiveness even in the short-term, the use of these drugs becomes more and more problematic. … Psychiatry has always been slow to respond to scientific evidence that its treatments are harmful. Often, as in this case, psychiatry flouts science.”

Olga Runciman, Author, psychiatric nurse, campaigner and Co-founder of the Danish Hearing Voices network-

“A lie is a lie and here this lie (TADS) proved to be a highly lucrative one by implying these drugs are not only safe but helpful and then quoted worldwide as one of THE most reliable pieces of research.”

Mickey Nardo, aka 1boringoldman, Retired Psychiatrist and Blogger –

“Among the bizarre misrepresentations in Clinical Trials of psychiatric drugs during the Age of the Decepticons, this one (TADS) may take the grand prize.. ”

Peter Hitchens, Author and Journalist –

“Normal human beings become abnormal, possibly for ever, as soon as they first ingest these powerful, poorly-researched chemicals, often prescribed by doctors shamefully ignorant of the growing body of expert criticism of them.. If there is the slightest risk that they make good, kind mothers lose their minds and kill their own babies, I can imagine few more pressing matters on the agenda of any government than to establish the truth and act on it. Please, somebody listen.”

James Davies, senior lecturer in social anthropology and psychotherapy, psychotherapist, Author and Co-founder of CEP –

“Antidepressant medications do not return us to health as medical pills aim to do – they rather manufacture a new state of mind, and often an unnatural state.”

Penultimate word from Dr Nardo’s Blog

“Another interesting phenomenon I’ll point out, is how certain folks seem so convinced SSRIs can have this huge powerful negative effect on the brain while discounting any chance that for some people it really helps. Can’t it be that some are helped, some harmed, and some neither one? Is this not the case for almost all prescription medications?”

Previous words from the wise. Last word from mise –

While I agree with Dr Nardo’s latter quote, it might provide greater clarity if it read “..how certain folks seem so convinced SSRIs have this huge positive effect on the brain, while discounting any chance that for some they can actually cause harm..”

Does the fact that antidepressants sometimes help, really make up for the fact that these drugs killed my son and many hundreds of thousands of other unwitting victims? Can the slaughter of the innocents be somehow justified? Maybe some might consider offering up their own child as collateral damage; I didn’t. Martyrdom was not Shane’s choice. For your family’s sake, make ‘informed consent’ yours.

Never, ever discontinue these drugs without the help of a good doctor. If you don’t have a good doctor, then find one. They might be few and far between, but thankfully are not quite extinct.

Jake’s Amendment

Jake McGill Lynch16th July 2015

Imagine your 14 year old child being prescribed fluoxetine (Prozac), not for any ‘mental illness’ but to ‘help with his exams’. Then imagine going to the local pharmacy and handing in that same prescription in exchange for a bottle of innocuous-looking liquid and being sent on your merry way to administer this ‘elixir’ to your young son, who by-the-way trusts you with all his heart. Imagine him looking you in the eye each night while you ensure that he’s taking his prescribed medication. Imagine the inexplicable scenario that neither the prescriber nor the pharmacist told you that this drug could actually cause suicide, particularly in children.

Imagine then a few weeks later, the horror of trying to remember that same trusting face after your 14 year-old child has fatally shot himself. That is most likely what Stephanie McGill Lynch does every night. I can just imagine her horror upon learning that the Irish Government already knew that these drugs were causing numerous deaths but chose to do nothing. It occurs to me that the Irish Government might just as well have shot and killed Jake, yet we are all passively allowing this to continue. Why, in an era awash in human rights activism, is nobody chaining themselves to the gates of our Government buildings for Jake, an innocent 14 year old child? Why are grieving parents left to fight a seemingly impenetrable system for justice? As one bereaved mother said recently “Why should it be down to the bereaved and harmed to battle for greater awareness of the dubious nature of ‘antidepressants’? These are random chemicals which can never merit the term ‘medicine’ until the day dawns when they are accompanied by effective information and support.”  Why indeed.

Today Jake’s parents are attending Dáil Éireann (Irish Parliament) where Pádraig Mac Lochlainn TD will propose an amendment to the Coroner’s Act 1961. The amendment, while not apportioning blame or fault, will permit a coroner to record an Iatrogenic death. Iatrogenesis is death caused by medical treatment and comes from the historical Greek word meaning ‘brought forth by the healer'(WIKI).

If this amendment is passed, Ireland may finally redeem itself a little. It may even prove to be a world-leader, creating precedent in paving the way for victims of medical treatment, thereby allowing other countries to follow suit. As adverse drug events are now the fourth leading cause of death in hospitals and the leading cause of death within the ‘mental health’ field, this amendment could be a huge step in paving the way for a re-think in prescribing practices.

A big thank-you to Jake’s parents and Pádraig Mac Lochlainn for pushing this hugely important amendment. Thinking of Jake today and his very sad, yet very brave parents, who are taking this one giant step on the road to justice. Newspaper Article on Jake’s Amendment below..

Jake's Amendment 2

Fíorscéal- The Dark Side of a Pill

I have waited so long for this programme to be publicised. TG4 is an Irish language television station. ‘Fíorscéal’ is known for its brilliant documentaries and this one ‘The Dark Side of a Pill’ is no different. It was repeated last night and includes, among other things, psychopharmacologist David Healy and the terrible story of Kim Crespi and her husband David.

For your sake and for your family’s sake, please, please watch this, so that Shane’s death, along with Tessara, Samantha, Jake, Toran and the millions of others, will not be in vain. To the Irish Govt and Irish psychiatry who are allowing this to continue, the blood on your hands is increasingly showing – let’s hope the Pharma money was sufficient to quench your conscience. You will be exposed …

Thanks to my fabulous friends at tallatrialogue for finding this video.

Crespi Family Hope