This is how mental health professionals argue against informed consent

OF COURSE WE ARE WORTH THE TRUTH I sometimes participate in conversations on Linked-in. It's become a source of gratification at least some of the time as I see more and more people waking up to what is happening in the mental health system. That said, I'm also still often horrified at what I meet there out in the mainstream of mental health providers. I hang around, however, because I've also found that there are many folks who are really deeply grappling with issues that only a decade ago were simply widely avoided. It's an exciting time and people are really opening up to the possibility of deeply humane ways of helping folks that at this time get labeled with psychiatric DSM diagnosis. Below I'm posting some slightly edited comments from one of the threads. ...

“The seriously mentally ill die, on average, 25 years earlier than the general population…”

(exploring the source of a statistic) Are you familiar with this oft-quoted statistic: “people with serious mental illness served by the public mental health system die, on average, 25 years earlier than the general population”?  You see it everywhere – for example in TIME magazine, USA Today, and throughout the mental health blogosphere. It comes from this 2006 report... Continue Reading →

You mean the study partcipant’s priorities are important, BY LAW?

The Short Answer: YES.  At the very least, a definite "maybe"…  Let me explain. The Long Answer: What I’m referring to is the World Medical Association’s Declaration of Helsinki, a list of ethical guidelines for medical human subjects research, itself not international law, but the international ethical standard.  The declaration has been codified into national law in... Continue Reading →

Overseas clinical trials of pharmaceuticals — the globalization of guinea pigs

(WARNING: this isn’t going to be pretty…) In the 1940s, the US Government deliberately infected mentally ill and incarcerated Guatemalans with syphilis – almost 700 people in total.  The study design included arranging sexual encounters between prostitutes known to be infected and the male participants [you just can’t make stuff like this up].  After 2... Continue Reading →

Psychiatry Residents don’t volunteer information for informed consent

We can easily assume that psychiatrists in general have the same habits as the residents talked about in the article below as many of our lived experiences suggest. When we are young, desperate and naive, how many of us think to ask the pertinent questions? And then when we are thoroughly brainwashed to believe meds are the only way, how many of us really want to know the risks? If we have no alternatives, as we are led to believe, doesn't it feel safer to just not know? These "passive" doctors are taking the easy way out to our great expense. ...

Highlight: Indispensable Book — Rethinking Psychiatric Drugs

By far the most informative, well-documented critique on psychiatric drugs that I've come across is Grace Jackson's " Rethinking Psychiatric Drugs: A Guide for Informed Consent." It is appropriate for both professionals and lay-people, it is succinct and concise and loaded with information. In 2004, an on-line medical newsletter posted an article with a captivating... Continue Reading →

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