Is psychiatry Ireland guilty of “Failure to warn”?

Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, Volume 9, Number 2, 2007

Psychiatrists’ Failure to Inform:

Is There Substantial Financial Exposure?

James B. Gottstein, Esq., JD


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.

As the wave of lawsuits

against manufacturers for failure to warn wane, will such psychiatrists be next and do

they risk substantial  Iiability?

Psychiatric drugs are causing huge amounts of physical harm, including severely

limited lives and early death. Tragically, this is not offset by corresponding benefits,

because the ability of psychiatric drugs to successfully treat the conditions for which

they are prescribed is limited. In fact, they are often counterproductive. This is particularly

true of the neuroleptics, often also called by the misnomer “antipsychotics.” It is also true

of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRl) antidepressants and their cousins, as

well as the stimulants used to treat children and now adults with attention deficit

hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In addition, these antidepressants and ADHD drugs cause people

to become psychotic in a substantial percentage of cases, which often leads to

misdiagnosing an underlying mental illness and results in ever increasing doses of the stronger, more

debilitating neuroleptics.

The scope of the harm is immense. It is likely the toll greatly exceeds that  from Vioxx.

The neuroleptics, old and new, disable many people who take them and substantially

reduce life spans (Joukama et aI., 2006; Straus et aI., 2004; Waddington et aI., 2003).

Similarly, it has been reliably estimated the antidepressants have caused 23,000 suicides

(Healy, 2004).

These facts are virtually never disclosed to patients, thus breaching the obligation to

obtain informed consent, and often legally constituting battery. In forced drugging proceedings,

psychiatrists testifying as witnesses regularly testify untruthfully, which

constitutes perjury. This results in the courts being duped into forcing hundreds of thousands

of unwilling people to take harmful drugs. The threat of involuntary commitment for

failure to comply keeps many more taking these drugs in spite of their desire to reduce or

eliminate them. People’s lives are being ruined and shortened needlessly, because there are

better alternatives. The legal system has not yet done much to hold psychiatrists accountable

for this harm, but that may change.

© 2007 Springer Publishing Company

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