lundbeck, Our story., psychiatry, Shanes story.

The Medical Council of Ireland and Prof Cowen of Oxford University

I wrote a while back about our complaint to the ‘Medical Council of Ireland’ and their decision here. The MCIRL’s website state that their purpose is “to protect the public by promoting and better ensuring high standards of professional conduct and professional education, training and competence among doctors.

As I said before, they had a copy of Professor Healy’s Report which I had sent to them. They said they needed an ‘independent’ expert to do a report as the MCIRL did not have ‘sufficient expertise’ in the area regarding Shane’s case. They asked Professor P. J Cowen of Oxford University for this independent report. They refused to furnish me with a copy. Following a Freedom of Information request coupled with permission from Prof Cowen, they finally sent me this other report.

I had voiced my concerns whether Prof. Cowen was capable of doing an ‘independent’ report considering he (among others who involved themselves in Shane’s case) is involved with Lundbeck, the makers of the said drug/poison Citalopram. Surprisingly (maybe I owe him an apology) after corresponding with Prof. Cowen, he has admitted some interesting points:

(i) “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. From this point of view Shane should have had weekly follow-up after the start of SSRI treatment.”

(ii) Could Citalopram have contributed to or caused Shane to commit suicide and homicide? “It’s certainly possible. Leonie. What I was trying to say is that the judgement has to be made on an individual basis in the light of all the facts, and I know very little about what happened after the appointment with Dr Coetzee.  However, it looks as though David Healy has looked carefully at the circumstances for the inquest and he is an expert at these kinds of assessments.”

So, the MCIRL’s own expert agrees that these drugs can cause a person to become suicidal and homicidal but admits he didn’t have enough facts to deal with the case, and yet they thought that they were sufficiently protecting the public from this happening again…how? Professor Cowen also acknowledged that Prof Healy was more qualified to assess Shane’s case and the MCIRL still chose to do nothing, why?

Professor Healy stated that these drugs DOUBLE the risk of suicide and Double the risk for aggressive acts. He covers these points and more in much detail on his blog here. What warnings will be given to future consumers of antidepressants by the MCIRL? Maybe if every doctor had access to Prof. Healy’s “Antidepressants for Prescribers” here and listed side-effects of all medications here, the world would be a much safer place.

Doctors and Psychiatrists, while defending antidepressants, will sometimes use this old trick as seen on the MadinAmerica website here: “Do you want to be responsible for a suicide because a person didn’t get treatment?

Do YOU feel responsible Doctor, when a person dies by suicide CAUSED by the drug? These drugs double the risk of Suicide and aggression!!

2 thoughts on “The Medical Council of Ireland and Prof Cowen of Oxford University”

  1. “Do you want to be responsible for a suicide because a person didn’t get treatment?”

    It amazes me when they use this line. It really is a straw man argument and scaremongering those who have started looking into the facts that SSRi use can induce homicide and suicide.

    They can’t use the chemical imbalance theory anymore as that has been debunked, instead they opt for the line above, which is perverse seeing as there is no such thing as a chemical imbalance… until one starts the medication.


  2. It is a well documented fact that 4 out of 5 people whom suffer from a depressive episode will get well without any treatment or intervention whatsoever. The stats on suicide from depression are actually quite low, considering the huge numbers of people whom are (supposedly) suffering from it at any given point in time. As Bob said, ‘this is scare mongering’.


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