An Irish mother’s fight against forced medication….

Justice Birmingham

Here’s an interesting case which came up in the High Court this week. It involved a judicial Review of an earlier District Court decision regarding the care of a 16 year old girl. Following a psychotic episode, she was voluntarily admitted to a psychiatric unit. Times article.
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This young girl is being forcibly medicated with anti-psychotic medication against her mother’s wishes in a HSE run adolescent psychiatric unit. The girl’s mother said she had researched these drugs and was very concerned by medical evidence showing side-effects. The Judge in this case Mr Justice George Birmingham (pictured) seemed to be unbiased and actually listened to the mother along with the experts for both sides.
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The Times stated “In High Court proceedings, the girl’s mother said she had researched anti-psychotic drugs and was very concerned by medical evidence showing side-effects could include dyskinesia, a disorder of the nervous system. She claimed the particular drug was not licensed in Ireland for use in children or adolescents.” She claimed? That implies that her ‘claim’ is a bit dubious or controversial, does it not? How about a bit of research here?
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Dr Michelle HarleyConsultant psychiatrist Dr Michelle Harley said that when first admitted, she prescribed 2 other anti-psychotic drugs before putting her on the current drug, zuclopenthixol. The first 2 obviously did not work or caused fairly serious side-effects then? Zuclopenthixol AKA Clopixol, is a Lundbeck creation. I won’t go into the dubious practices of Lundbeck, suffice to say, don’t believe a word this drug company say; they regularly cause death with their drugs. Here’s one of their Clopixol warning letters. Incidentally, they’re still upholding the ‘chemical imbalance’ rubbish. Chemical Imbalance
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Anyway, back to whether this drug is licensed for children. No! Absolutely, categorically and emphatically NO! In fact, the MIMS (psychiatric bible) website state that this drug is contraindicated in children here.  Even Lundbeck advise that this medication is not recommended in under 18s here. So what’s the problem here? Will I Google ‘contraindication’ for the experts? Here we go: “Absolute contraindication means that event or substance could cause a life-threatening situation. A procedure or medication that falls under this category should be avoided.”
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The mother has every right to be concerned for her daughter’s welfare. A quick Google search of the psychiatrist in question Michelle Harley brings up a psychiatric unit in Fairview, Dublin here. I don’t know if this is where this young girl is but the psychiatrist in question practices there. Hmm… If I was this girl’s mother, I’d be chained to the gates screaming profanities, maybe getting arrested under the Lunacy Act. Can you believe there is such a thing and it seems that this Law is still adversely affecting people?
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I have the utmost respect for this girl’s mother. She obviously loves her daughter very much and feels very strongly about her ‘care’. She even went as far as getting an expert witness, Dr Bob Johnson, former consultant psychiatrist at Parkhurst Prison, to speak in the High Court. He said he believed the girl was suffering from post- traumatic stress disorder from a childhood incident, which was triggered by bullying and moving to a new school. He said “There was a view psychosis was an illness ‘like diabetes’ and could be treated with anti-psychotic drugs but he did not believe it was a biochemical disorder. Anti-psychotic drugs caused brain damage“. This NCBI Clopixol study shows that “…treatment have to be viewed with caution. Most trials present important methodological flaws and findings are poorly reported.”

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I like this Judge, he didn’t just take the normal route; believing what psychiatry says as gospel. He put proceedings back until June to see what progress might be made. He also said “The ex-parte procedure used by the HSE to obtain the initial order, with “no opportunity” for the girl’s mother to be heard, was “a very frail procedure”, “putting it at its mildest.” Way to go Justice Birmingham!
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Let’s just hope that this drug is stopped before it’s too late, or it won’t do any permanent damage in the meantime, eh? I also hope there will be no repercussions with the girl’s mother, as I know only too well the bullying that goes on within psychiatry when an ‘ordinary’ person contradicts their belief in the medical model. I hope she has a good legal team. I wonder should I recommend James MacGuill? As my sons would say; he’s a legend!
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Will Ireland put a stop to this or will we end up like America, where in one high-profile case a swat-team was sent in, all guns blazing, for a mother who refused to medicate her child? Details here, if you can believe it. All charges were eventually dropped, here. If you ask me, she’s the one who should have brought charges.
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3 thoughts on “An Irish mother’s fight against forced medication….

  1. The only problem seems to be that in the meantime the young girl will continue to be “medicated” Many drugs of this type can cause irreversible changes. What damage could be done to the developing brain and other organs even in the short term? Will anyone be held responsible if other problems appear or will it be the “illness” Hopefully this young girl will fully recover and with her mother’s love and care become a fully functioning adult.

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    1. I really hope so Chris. If the drugs worked as well as these psychiatrists believe, then there would be no issue. Could a pill really fix all of life’s problems? How could these ‘experts’ be so taken in by the pharmaceutical industry that they believe that this is so? As you say, the adverse effects can be catastrophic and irreversible. If it was a matter of life and death, if she was suicidal, then maybe a case could be argued, but I don’t think that was the case; at least it wasn’t brought up in the court. If this girl was suicidal, they would no doubt have spouted the risk-benefit ideology/crapology that they wheel out in similar cases.
      Leonie
      PS. That is not my opinion though. These drugs increase the risk of suicide by at least double, as we both know to our cost!

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  2. Forced medication is inhumane and too many innocent people will be forced to take medicence because some so called expert says a person is mentally ill

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