Mad Pride Wesite…Link.
September 29, 2011
Medications can cause suicide.
Can you imagine that as a headline. A Professor of Psychiatry said that last Saturday in UCC. Said he knew of tablets that cause some people to commit suicide. Not one of the national suicide agencies were there. Where was Dan Neville FG TD? He researches suicide. Where was Professor Ted Dinan ? He teaches psychiatry in UCC.
I spoke from a platform last Saturday in UCC, at a conference organised by Health Action International Europe and Critical Voices Network Ireland. Title: ‘Mad Medicine: Do conflicts of interest drive you crazy?’
Professor David Healy, professor of Psychiatry at Cardiff, is originally from Dublin. He has an international reputation for being a thorn in the side of the combination of academic psychiatry and big pharma. He stated it was ‘psychiatric suicide’ for a psychiatrist to question the adverse effects of psychiatric drugs. Professional suicide because his professional colleagues isolate him for heresy! We are looking for whistleblowers. We are framing legislation and we have a professor stating that he is being portrayed as some type of informer if he speaks out. Healy said all invitations from ‘inside’ the status quo had dried up.
Maybe we should not try to make heroes of the whistleblowers, but begin to name shame and disgrace those in the public domain, who deliberately cause whistleblowers to be afraid. Look to the media to investigate the professional agencies like the College of Psychiatry to ask how do they support those members who challenge the accepted beliefs of their profession. Ask what support mechanisms they have in place to assist members who risk their careers to expose a whiff of corruption within their own profession.
We should be asking that question of Professor Agnes Higgins, chair of the Irish Mental Health Nurses association – a good friend- but the question deserves an official answer from she and Dr Harry Gijbels, another good friend in the same association. Directors of nursing have growing power, but they have yet to exercise them in the public. We need to hear from them; they could be the peoples’ champions yet. UCC won an award last week as a five star university. It is well deserved, because of people like Lydia Sapouna, Orla O’Donovan, and Harry who are opening the doors to debate. Free speech and opinion, developing thought; kind of why they invented places of learning.
We must honour and protect people like David Healy. We must expose those who make free speech and opinion a shameful exercise. David Healy has a position on ECT that I disagree with. That is his right. He has the right to be wrong! Ha. He gave evidence last year in the Shane Clancy case. Remember that young man who was put on drugs by a doctor, became suddenly violent, killed another young man and himself? Professor Healy testified that the drugs prescribed caused that altered behavior. His parents say over and over Shane was a beautiful young student, Shane asked for medical help, he was given pills and he died.
Shane Clancy killed someone else’s son and then killed himself. Fact. Professor Healy put enough doubt in the jury’s mind at the inquest around the cause of that sudden act of violence that they could not find a verdict of suicide or homicide. Professor Healy stated that Irish teaching professors of psychiatry interfered in that legal process. He said that Big Pharma are legally obliged to declare that certain drugs cause suicide but there is no legal obligation on teaching psychiatrists to say this. He said further that Big Pharma used academic psychiatrists to hide the truth.
Shane Clancy’s parents have been fighting a lone battle since to find a listening ear. All this is explosive information coming from well researched and professional sources. Academics can be a pain in the arse. They were from across the world, speaking and attending that conference last Saturday. Those that organized the conference had no money to pay for professional PR. We exist in a deluded bubble of self congratulation, while big pharma and co have the biggest PR machine in the world. How do I know that? Academic after academic last Saturday stood on the podium and quantified not only how much big pharma spent on lying and making fools of us all.But how they use PR companies to do it. They had researched how they do it.
David Healy called the compliant psychiatrists ‘Cardinals’ and stated that the church in hiding the truth were as amateurs compared to Big Pharma. They stood one after another and they told us of manipulation by Big Pharma through PR. They told us how profitable, powerful and effective PR was for big pharma. Psychiatric nurses are huge targets for pharma PR, after all it is they who get the dirty job of administering the drugs. Had the organisers last Saturday invited one speaker less from the US, they could possibly have made the day’s headlines. They had no budget for PR for the day. They spent a huge amount of time and research on studying how Big Pharma do it and they learned feck all.
We have to have academic research, it is absolutely vital, but jasus lads we have to let the public know the results. There is no point in academics telling academics and going for a pint. The paper doing the rounds in academia pales against the paper making the front page in the paper. There were speakers from Trinity, Sligo, the Lough, Boston, York, Cardiff, the EU European Medcines Agency (the Irish Medicines Board invited, they could not be bothered) EU Parliament (Nessa Childers) Canada, Portugal, Netherlands, UCC and Church Avenue. No money left for PR.
What was announced on Saturday was explosive information and it did not make headline news. You can talk all you like of the responsibility of the media to pick up on the news but we all have to feed the news to the media. The media have a professional responsibility to assess the information, but those who are trying to break the silence around abuse and silence also have a responsibility.