Our Ref: KB
Ms. Leonie Fennell,
By email only to: firstname.lastname@example.org 22nd June 2011
PROFESSOR PATRICA CASEY
Dear Ms Fennell,
We are instructed by Professor Patricia Casey of the Mater Hospital in Dublin. Our client has instructed us in relation to comments appearing on your internet blog in which you repeat a statement that another lady made to you that “Patricia Casey ruined my son’s life”. You also publish a letter on your blog to the Irish Medicines Board on 16th March 2011. As part of this letter you say “… as Patricia Casey has a long and I am sure lucrative association with Lundbeck … you can take from that anything you want to”.
The implication in this second comment is that our client either knows or ought to know of what you describe in your blog as the potentially fatal side effects of certain antidepressants, and yet continues to prescribe these anti-depressants. The very clear implication here is that our client receives payments from drug companies and is quite happy to prescribe anti-depressants to individuals who should not take these drugs and who would be placed in danger if they did take these drugs.
This portrays our client as a person who is unfit to practice in the area of psychiatry. The first comment – that our client ‘ruined’ someone’s life is even more serious and while it is entirely untrue and without foundation, it is clearly extremely damaging to our client.
Our client has strongly held views in this area. However, this does not entitle you to portray her as a person who knowingly and recklessly would prescribe drugs in completely inappropriate circumstances. She has commented in public on numerous occasions stating that there are many circumstances where she would never prescribe antidepressant drugs and completely accepts that there can be very serious side effects in certain circumstances. Our client has a well established reputation throughout Ireland and abroad and is a highly respected member of the psychiatric community both nationally and internationally. She is enormously sympathetic to the tragedy you have suffered since the death of your son and she has only asked us to write to you extremely reluctantly and very much as a last resort. She is not suggesting that you should remove your blog but she does insist that you immediately remove the defamatory comments about her. She has not ruined anybody’s life through the inappropriate prescription of drugs and it is very wrong of you to imply that she would seek financial gain and risk prescribing drugs to individuals who she knows would suffer as a result.
The purpose of this letter is to insist that you remove the offending comments from your blog and that you do not repeat these comments or similar comments in the future. While our client feels enormous sympathy for you and your family, she cannot have her reputation destroyed or attacked in this manner and we must insist therefore that you take this appropriate action immediately so as to avoid any further difficulties in the future.
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I have received this letter via e-mail from Brophy solicitors and would like to state publicly that I have never lied on this blog and my opinions are exactly that, my opinion, and in stating the facts people will come to their own conclusion but I have duly removed the offending comments.
Regarding my letter to the Irish Medicines Board on 16th March 2011, I am entitled to my opinion and as I’m sure Professor Casey does not do all her work for Lundbeck for free, well that means she gets paid honoraria, otherwise known as cash, does it not?
I have decided to take the other offending comment down regarding my conversation with the aforementioned lady as I would never reveal her identity, and what is said to me is, and will always, remain private and confidential (unless the person chooses otherwise).
I am not the first person to write about Patricia Casey and some of my concerns have been written about before. It is not in my nature to target a particular individual (particularly one who is married to a barrister…), as I would generally feel a bit sorry for them but in this case the fact that Professor Casey attended Shane’s inquest and publicly took issue with certain aspects of it, and the fact that she is associated with psychiatry Ireland and also Lundbeck (makers of citalopram)… why would I not be allowed to publicly take issue with this and voice my own concerns?
I am very glad that Professor Casey is not suggesting that I remove my blog as that is very unlikely to happen in my lifetime, as I also have some very strong views in this area.
The defence of truth and Honest Opinion are still defences in Ireland are they not? Also Professor Casey has publicly stated that there is no evidence that antidepressants can cause homicide and no evidence that antidepressants can cause suicide but yet Lundbeck admit it in their Canadian healthcare professional letter.
Scroll up to 5 mins and 36 seconds on this youtube video http://youtu.be/vV7HhfvxHPk and the question is asked about a recent case in the Irish media, which I presume is referring to my son, so am I to take it that Professor Casey is defaming me with her denial?
As for the confidentiality clause at the end of this e-mail…I did not agree to keep this letter confidential and it is my choice not to do so and I take issue with the legalese language, presumably trying to silence me!
P.S. If anyone at Brophy solicitors or indeed Professor Casey would like to reply, please feel free to leave a comment.