The Big Pictures

Informed consent is a basic human right, argues Yola Lucire

There is an answer to fraud: You fight it with science. We have the science. Pharmacogentics.

As you saw, Generation RX contained first hand accounts, ignored by authorities and psychiatrists, that some people became confused, hallucinated, homicidal and suicidal on antidepressants. And that school massacres are mostly caused by prescription drugs:

These effects were well known 50 years ago. My 1960 undergraduate psychiatry textbook, Mayer-Gross, Slater and Roth, reported them.

The US Food and Drug Administration, the FDA, now cites that old text. You saw cases where attention was drawn to it.

Underpinning those dramatic ones are people who have become chronically neurotoxic 'organic borderlines' suicidal and using mental health care to no avail.

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Peter Parry reviews Australian practice

As this film raises so many complex interlocking issues, I'm going to highlight a plethora of things in rapid staccato note form - please note this is not a disorder!

By way of disclosure, I have no pharmaceutical company interests to declare. I am a member of Healthy Scepticism - an organisation of medical, pharmacy and other health professionals and academics that seeks to counter misleading pharmaceutical industry information. The Evatt Foundation paid my flight.

Generation RX starts on a philosophical note - the dulcet tones of the narrator hint to the mind/brain problem. Then cut to a psychiatry professor: "... the biomedical model is problematic, I don't think anything is going to be strictly biological that is to do with the brain".

That is spot on in my opinion. Prof Derek Silove, is a Sydney based psychiatrist - together with other colleagues particularly in the Faculty of child psychiatry to which I belong - was influential in gaining the release of asylum seeker children from long term detention. Silove's paper, "Biologism in Psychiatry", was in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry in 1990. I recall reading it in that, my first year of psychiatry training, to quote:

Australian psychiatry should consider the recent ideological shift in the USA to an extreme biological model of mental disorders. There is increasing evidence that proponents of this model are not simply promoting the value of biological research (with which few psychiatrists would quibble), but that the field is at risk of being overwhelmed by a reductionist "biologism" which assumes an organic causation for all abnormal human behaviour.

Psychiatry, particularly child psychiatry, deals with an incredibly complex bio-psycho-socio-cultural domain. It is not really science - certainly not physics. It is like economics - with multiple ideologies and theories.

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