Archive for August, 2011

Informed Consent

Sunday, August 28th, 2011
“Psychiatrists regularly fail to obtain informed consent by not fully informing their patients of the risks of psychotropic drugs as well as overstating their benefits.”
[James B. Gottstein, Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, Volume 9, Number 2, 2007]

CCHR has long fought to restore basic inalienable human rights to the field of mental health, including, but not limited to, fully informed consent regarding the medical legitimacy of psychiatric diagnosis, the risks of psychiatric treatment, the right to all available medical alternatives, and the right to refuse any treatment considered harmful.

If a person wants to consider taking psychotropic drugs, they should only make that decision after being fully informed about it. While we are inclined to think that no one who was so informed would consent, drug companies need to make all the data known, psychiatrists and other medical doctors need to transmit it fully to patients prior to prescribing, and patients need to give their consent for the treatment.

A general legal definition (which may vary from state to state) for “informed consent” is: agreement to do something or to allow something to happen only after all the relevant facts are known. A patient’s consent to a medical treatment must be based on having been told all the possible consequences, except in emergency cases when such consent cannot be obtained. A physician who does not tell all the possible bad news as well as the good, operates in peril of a lawsuit if anything goes wrong.

Many individuals are not given full information about the fraudulent nature of psychiatric diagnoses, the FDA warnings on psychiatric medications, nor are they given full information about the alternatives. This violates their right to full informed consent.

Selection from the Missouri Revised Statutes (RSMo) Chapter 630, Department of Mental Health
630.115. 1. Each patient, resident or client shall be entitled to the following without limitation:
(12) To not be subjected to any hazardous treatment or surgical procedure unless he, his parent, if he is a minor, or his guardian consents; or unless such treatment or surgical procedure is ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction.
History of Informed Consent

There is a long history to the subject of Informed Consent. At first, regulation of the medical community focused on the rights of those who participated in medical research more than those who were receiving medical treatment. Yet, from this work on regulating the rights of patients involved in research, the medical community did gradually put attention on informed consent as a right of the patient for any and all medical treatment.

Throughout the country, there are different rules and regulations state-to-state, regarding consent. To date, there is not a federal bill or law that has passed that defines informed consent.

One court case, Cruzan v. Director, decided by the State Supreme Court of Missouri in 1990, recognized “a right to refuse treatment.” This case and others helped to further refine the concept of informed consent. Today, informed consent is considered a fundamental right of the patient.

The right of a patient  to refuse treatment is based upon five constitutional protections:
1. the 8th amendment’s protection against cruel and unusual punishment
2. the 1st  amendment’s protection of free speech
3. the 1st amendment’s protection of freedom of religion
4. the more broadly interpreted right to privacy
5. the 14th amendment’s protection of liberty

Within medicine, these constitutional guarantees have generally been unchallenged in the case of physical illness. Within psychiatry, however, these guarantees have been variably interpreted and restrained, by saying that a “mentally ill” person is not competent to make an informed decision.

How to make sure you’re getting quality medical care

This is the minimum your doctor should explain:
-  What is the evidence for the diagnosis?
-  How does the treatment affect the body?
-  How does the treatment affect the mind?
-  What unwanted effects may occur?
-  Is it approved by the FDA for your condition?
-  What is known and not known about how safe it is and how well it works?
-  What are the alternatives, including the option of no treatment?
-  Does your doctor or the clinic have a financial interest in pushing the diagnosis or treatment?

For more information review A Model Consent Form for Psychiatric Drug Treatment.

As a watchdog organization, CCHR produces millions of educational properties including booklets, white papers, brochures and documentaries in up to 17 languages covering all aspects of psychiatry’s harmful impact on society and the need for reform to protect patients’ civil and human rights and to require informed consent. Visit www.CCHRSTL.org for more information.

Drugs to treat neuropsychiatric disorders have become too risky for big pharma

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

An article in the August, 2011 Scientific American, written by directors at the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development, claims that “many big drug companies are pulling the plug on R&D for neuropsychiatric and other central nervous system (CNS) medicines.”

While we rejoice at this good news, it is accompanied by equally distressing news about the Coalition Against Major Diseases, and the Cures Acceleration Network (courtesy of the new health care reform law,) which are bent on finding more cost-effective ways to find new drugs.

Given that harmful and addictive psychiatric drugs are a problem of magnitude, an even larger and more fearful problem is the psychiatric industry itself, which relies on fraudulent diagnoses to justify the use of these drugs. Psychiatrists are so anxious to produce an effect, since they know they cannot cure anything, that they rely on shocking people with drugs, electroconvulsive therapy and involuntary commitment, in order to produce an impact. When you produce a sufficient amount of horror in people by shocking them with these “treatments” they react hypnotically and fall under psychiatric control. The combination of false diagnoses and harmful treatments makes patients for life, they just keep coming back for more (the basic definition of addiction,) just the thing to keep up a steady income for the psychopharmaceutical industry.

What is the alternative to psychiatric fraud and abuse? One is afraid that the alternative is an even bigger problem — how to bring enough order, activity, potentiality, good sense and communication into the environment so that people can really function well and improve their conditions in life.

Let us start by putting psychiatry and psychiatrists out of business. Insist that they promise to refuse to accept money from anyone they feel they cannot honestly help. Write your local, state and federal officials and tell them what you think. Tell them to provide funding and insurance coverage only for proven, workable treatments that verifiably and dramatically improve or cure mental health problems; and cut funding and insurance coverage for unproven, unworkable, and harmful treatments that perpetuate the fraud and abuse in the mental health care industry.

Click here for more information about psychiatric fraud and abuse.

Risperidone Ineffective for PTSD

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Risperidone Ineffective for PTSD

A recent study published in The Journal of the American Medical
Association
investigated whether the antipsychotic drug risperidone
would be effective for veterans diagnosed with military-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Serotonin reuptake-inhibiting (SRI) antidepressants are currently the only FDA-approved drugs for the treatment of PTSD. This study used risperidone on veterans who were not responding to ongoing treatment with SRI antidepressants.

Risperidone is an atypical antipsychotic drug, also called a major tranquilizer, neuroleptic (nerve-seizing) drug, or chemical straightjacket. The ingestion of a single tablet of risperidone may cause significant toxic poisoning in a toddler. This class of antipsychotics may also cause increased risk of diabetes, and an increased risk of stroke and death in the elderly.

All antipsychotics can cause akathisia (a word derived from a, without; kathisia, sitting; an inability to keep still). Akathisia is a terrible feeling of anxiety, an inability to sit still, a feeling that one wants to crawl out of his skin. This side effect has been linked to assaultive, violent behavior and can be experienced by up to 76% of patients taking the drugs.

The conclusion drawn by this study is, “Among patients with military-related PTSD with SRI-resistant symptoms, 6-month treatment with risperidone compared with placebo did not reduce PTSD symptoms.”

The study also found that adverse effects limited some patients from reaching their targeted drug dose.

In other words, risperidone is no more effective than a placebo for PTSD, and in addition it has bad side effects.

A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine in September, 2005 had already shown that this class of antipsychotic drugs were ineffective and have intolerable side effects.

Why are psychiatric researchers again investigating a drug already proven to be ineffective and that has potentially devastating side effects? One might presume that there is so much money and time invested in developing this drug that they are desperate to find some way to use it and continue to reap its profits. Or one might presume that they really do intend to cause as much damage from this drug as they can.

Behind the alarming reports of mental illness gripping our nation are drug companies inventing diseases. Disease mongering promotes nonexistent diseases and exaggerates mild conditions in order to boost profits for the pharmaceutical industry.

So-called post-traumatic stress disorder emerged in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, when veterans were having difficulties overcoming the brutal events they had witnessed. Three American psychiatrists coined the term PTSD and lobbied for its inclusion in the 1980 edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s “billing bible,” the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). While the effects of war are devastating, psychiatrists use people’s logical reactions to it to make money at the expense of their vulnerability.

We’ve been led to assume, by psychiatric “crisis teams” sent almost immediately to any terrorism or disaster scene, that people suffer severe psychic wounds from experiencing such traumas, or even from being in the general vicinity when they occur. The DSM categorizes symptoms most survivors experience following a disaster as “acute stress disorder” or “posttraumatic stress disorder” (PTSD), but are these people really suffering from a “disorder” requiring psychotherapy and the use of potentially addictive medications?

Some experts say that most of the soldiers suffering the effects of participating in particularly dangerous missions were experiencing battle fatigue, or in other words, exhaustion, not “mental illness.”

Today, PTSD has become blurred as a catch-all diagnosis for some 175 combinations of symptoms, becoming the label for identifying the impact of adverse events on ordinary people. This means that normal responses to catastrophic events have often been interpreted as mental disorders.

Psychiatric trauma treatment at best is useless, and at worst highly destructive to victims seeking help. By medicalizing what is a non-medical condition and introducing harmful drugs as a therapy, victims have been denied effective treatment options.

What’s more, the prescription of these drugs is often accompanied by a lack of fully informed consent. Look for a future newsletter about this aspect of the situation.

Click here for more information about this.

The Parental Consent Act

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

The Parental Consent
Act

Ron Paul
Congressman Ron Paul has re-introduced The Parental Consent Act, a bill which prohibits federal funds from being used to establish or implement any universal or mandatory mental health, psychiatric, or socioemotional screening program.

The Parental Consent Act 2011 (H.R. 2769 – previously H.R. 2218 in 2009) prohibits federal education funds from being used to pay any local educational agency or other instrument of government that uses the refusal of a parent or legal guardian to provide consent to mental health screening as the basis of a charge of child abuse, child neglect, medical neglect, or education neglect until the agency or instrument demonstrates that it is no longer using such refusal as a basis of such charge.

Click here to read more

Sign the petition in support of The Parental Consent Act here:

http://www.petitiononline.com/rppca/petition.html

Watch the video for more information:

Ron Paul’s Parental Consent Act Reintroduced in 2011

Kent Snyder, Presidential Campaign Manager for Ron Paul 2008 and former Executive Director of the Liberty Committee discusses the federal plan to screen all US schoolchildren for mental disorders, and how this prompted Congressman Ron Paul to introduce the Parental Consent Act.

DC 0 to 3

Saturday, August 13th, 2011

DC 0 to 3

Diagnostic Classification of Mental Health and Developmental Disorders of Infancy and Early Childhood, Revised (DC:0-3R)

Your future generations are in peril. Your children are at risk from psychiatric fraud and abuse.

The Zero To Three organization first published DC:0-3 in 1994 to classify what they called “mental health and developmental disorders” in the first four years of life (ages 0 to 3.)

Like the fake “psychosis risk syndrome” we’ve discussed before, they extoll the virtue of diagnosing and treating infants from birth to age 3 for mental disorders, or treating them pre-emptively for the potential to develop a mental disorder at a later age.

Gag me!

Here are some of the “mental disorders” for which an infant can be diagnosed and given psychiatric drugs:

– Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (e.g. any emotionally stressful condition)
– Prolonged Bereavement/Grief Reaction (e.g. losing a primary caregiver)
– Separation Anxiety Disorder
– Sleep-Onset Disorder (frankly, I never wanted to go to bed that early)
– Night-Waking Disorder (we used to call this either hunger, thirst, or “dreaming about the bogeyman”)
– Sensory Food Aversions (e.g. refusal to eat certain foods)

We don’t know about you, but we’ve never met an infant (especially ourselves) that did not exhibit one or more of these symptoms at one time or another. We grew out of it; we presume, with proper medical and parental attention, that the vast majority of infants recover normally as well.

The current revision, DC:0-3R, is supposed to help mental health and other professionals recognize mental health and developmental challenges in young children, and of course provide a rationale for prescribing psychiatric drugs and other psychiatric treatments, not unlike the psychiatric billing bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) but specific to infants.

This is really happening, folks. Your children are at risk.

We suggest you express your outrage to your local, state and federal officials. Show the CCHR DVD documentaries to your schools, churches, doctors, newspapers, legislators, and so on — wherever you have an opportunity. If you need a copy of a CCHR DVD to play for others, let us know. A donation to help us spread this information around would be helpful.

What are the alternatives to a child’s restless dreams of the bogeyman? Given that the very first alternative to psych drugs is No-Psych-Drugs, one suspects that there are any number of natural alternatives.

Because if an infant or child gets hooked on psychiatric drugs, the bogeyman dreams may be a lot more difficult to manage.

ADHD-Labeling normal kids “mentally ill”

Monday, August 8th, 2011

ADHD—Labeling
normal kids “mentally ill”

Click the picture to watch a short video.

ADHD is a bogus mental “disorder” based off a checklist of behaviors.
There are no medical tests to prove any child has ADHD, yet more than 4.5 million kids have been diagnosed and put on drugs such as Ritalin, Adderall and Concerta, which the U.S. DEA places in the same highly addictive category of drugs as cocaine, morphine and opium. The “checklist” for ADHD could fit any normal child and literally includes such ridiculous criteria as

“loses pencils or toys”
“often does not seem to listen”
“is easily distracted by extraneous stimuli” (what kid isn’t?)
“fidgets”
“runs about or climbs excessively in situations when it is not appropriate” (we are talking about KIDS here… right?)

To summarize: there are no blood tests, brain scans, chemical imbalance tests, X-rays or “genetic” factors to prove any child has a mental “illness” called ADHD. This is simply a list of child-like behaviors that psychiatrists clustered together, repackaged as a mental disorder and the result is a multi billion dollar empire — the child labeling and drugging industry.

For more information go to http://www.cchrint.org/psychiatric-disorders/.

The Psychiatric Abuse of the Elderly

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

The
Psychiatric Abuse of the Elderly

Click on the picture to find out about the disastrous legacy of the widespread introduction of psychiatric treatment into the care of the elderly over the last few decades.

Click here to download and read the CCHR booklet “Elderly Abuse — Cruel Mental Health Programs — Report and recommendations on psychiatry abusing seniors.”

Psychiatric Labeling

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Psychiatric Labeling

“Confirmation bias” is a term used to describe the tendency for people to favor information that confirms their preconceptions regardless of whether the information is true.

As a result, people may gather evidence and recall information from memory selectively, and interpret it in a biased way.

A recent paper (“Confirmation bias: why psychiatrists stick to wrong preliminary diagnoses“, published 5/20/11 in Cambridge Journals Online) studied this phenomenon to find out whether psychiatrists and medical students are prone to confirmation bias, and whether this leads to poor diagnostic accuracy in psychiatry.

The results were revealing. After having made a preliminary diagnosis, it was common for the study participants to stick to this diagnosis, right or wrong, when presented with new information that could potentially change the diagnosis. Participants making a wrong diagnosis also prescribed different treatment options compared with participants choosing the correct diagnosis.

The paper concludes, “Confirmatory information search harbors the risk of wrong diagnostic decisions.”

Now, couple this built-in bias with a blatantly fraudulent psychiatric diagnostic manual, and we get diagnostic mayhem and treatment nightmares.

The DSM IV (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, volume 4) is the current version of the psychiatrist’s billing bible from which they must draw their diagnoses in order to collect insurance payments.

Using the DSM, a psychiatrist labels the patient with a “mental disorder”, prescribes him a drug, and bills the patient’s insurance. The psychiatrist with the DSM in hand can try various labels on the patient until he finds one that either fits the patient’s symptoms or comes close enough to allow him to bill the patient’s insurance.

As the diagnoses completely lack scientific criteria, anyone can be labeled mentally ill, and subjected to dangerous and life threatening “treatments” based solely on opinion.

Fraudulent diagnoses, harmful treatments, confirmation bias, and bogus labels = psychiatry’s own psychosis, labeling everything a mental illness.