NY Supreme Court Awards $1.5 M in Antidepressant-Related Suicide

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The New York State Supreme Court found in favor of Janice Mazella, widow of  basketball coach and teacher Joe Mazella, in a malpractice suit against Dr. William Beals, who had prescribed Paxil to Mazella despite not having seen him for 10 years.  “There’s no way he would’ve wanted to do it” (commit suicide) if he weren’t on such a large amount of antidepressants,” said Mrs. Mazella. “He said he felt like his head was on fire.” Expert witness Peter Breggin, in his blog, writes; “Many years ago, I used to believe that people must be held responsible for their own behavior under all conditions, but my philosophical beliefs were eventually eroded by the mountain of scientific evidence that I developed through my research and clinical experience indicating that psychiatric drugs can indeed drive people to suicide.”

Widow of former Henninger High coach Joe Mazella wins $1.5M in lawsuit over his suicide → (Syracuse Post-Standard)

Of further interest:
Jury Awards $1.5 Million in Suicide Malpractice Suit (Huffington Post)

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected]