Bipolar diagnoses in foster children rise, informed consent becomes a bygone

Informed consent has never existed in any meaningful way in psychiatry. This headline pretends that it has. None the less, what is happening to our most vulnerable children is a travesty and it’s unprecedented.

From the Chicago Tribune:

Powerful mood-altering drugs were prescribed to hundreds of Illinois foster children without the required consent of state child welfare officials, a Tribune analysis of government data has found.

And increasing numbers of young wards were diagnosed with bipolar disorder and given a class of anti-psychotic medicines that some physicians consider risky for youths because they can cause such side effects as metabolic abnormalities and pronounced weight gain.

The number of Illinois wards diagnosed with bipolar disorder nearly doubled between 2000 and 2007, when roughly 9 percent of the state’s nearly 16,000 wards were diagnosed as bipolar, the Tribune found.

“This is a really concerning statistic,” said Dr. Michael Naylor, a University of Illinois at Chicago psychiatrist who reviews psychotropic medicine regimens for the state Department of Children and Family Services. Naylor said he worries that drug firms’ marketing efforts are driving the diagnoses. read the rest here

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