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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Past and Present Psychiatric Human Rights Abuses

With child drugging on the rise and the FDA's failure to enforce their own regulations on clinical trials, a new exhibit opens amid controversy in Seattle. 

Concern is growing about the overmedication of children with psychiatric drugs

Nationally, over 1 million children ages 0-5 are on a psychiatric medication as are one in six adolescents and teens age 12-17, according to IMS Health, a leading global information and technology services company. 

Washington State Representative Chad Magendanz, ranking Republican on the House Education Committee, supports parents’ rights to choose whether to place their child on a psychiatric drug.

At the Seattle opening of the Psychiatry: An Industry of Death exhibit September 10, he said, “The numbers of schoolchildren on psychotropic medication is shocking. There are alternatives. Too often children are placed on medication for others' benefit, not for their benefit.” 

The exhibit goes into great detail on this and other abuses by the psychiatric industry, including the use of electroshock. Also called electroconvulsive therapy, or ECT, this practice is seeing increased use amid heated controversy.

The president of the American Psychiatric Association wrote a letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) urging the agency to approve electroshock therapy for use on children. At the same time, the United States Congress has begun an investigation into the FDA. ECT devices have never gone through standard clinical trials to establish safety and efficacy. The FDA has requested studies, manufacturers have ignored this, and the FDA has neglected to follow through, failing to take action to protect the public. 

The multimedia exhibit will be in Seattle September 10–25. It is the touring version of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) Psychiatry: An Industry of Death Museum in Los Angeles. The exhibit, which has toured internationally, covers the history of psychiatry and includes rare historical footage and interviews with doctors, attorneys, survivors, and experts in mental health. It is a sobering experience.

“This opened my eyes to how much damage has been done in the name of help,” said a visitor to the Seattle exhibit. “It’s kind of hard to look at, but I feel stronger knowing this information.” 

Referring to the section of the exhibit on lobotomies, which today are viewed as barbaric, Dr. Linda Lagemann, Commissioner for CCHR, made the point that in their time, lobotomies were marketed as “a new breakthrough and a miracle cure.”

“Let’s learn from this exhibit and the perspective we have looking back, so we can see clearly what we are in the midst of now,” said Lagemann. “The ‘new breakthrough’ and ‘miracle cure’ of ‘refurbished electroshock’ is today’s lobotomy. We have the opportunity to get ahead of the trend this time and save lives.” 

The exhibit is open daily at 2030 1st Ave. from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. through September 25.

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