Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Advance Directives & Substitutes

Research Suggests that Forensic Psychological Examinations are Unreliable and Biased

Concerns have been raised about inconsistent and unreliable results, which may lead to injustices in sentencing or even wrongful convictions.

Mental Health Nurses Do Not Routinely Assess for Effects of Antipsychotic Medications

Researchers believe that side-effect monitoring is critical because of the increase in the use of antipsychotics

Evolution or Revolution? Why Western Psychiatry Won’t Change by Incremental Steps

...but how realistic is it to expect that the biological skew of Western psychiatry can be sustainably changed one small step at a time?

House Democrats Signaling New Support for Controversial Murphy Bill

Democrats in the House of Representatives, who have previously opposed Rep. Tim Murphy’s mental health reform bill, now appear ready to support the proposal...

My Response to the FDA’s ECT Rule Change

I lived through forced ECT from 2005-2006 at the Institute of Living in Hartford, Connecticut. My experience with ECT was the impetus for me to become involved in the antipsychiatry and Mad Pride movements, although I am not entirely opposed to voluntary mental health treatment. The following is the comment I submitted to the FDA on its proposal to down-classify the ECT shock device.

Summary of CRPD Campaign Against Forced Treatment

I present the results of a Campaign to demonstrate civil society support for the CRPD absolute prohibition of commitment and forced treatment. We asked participants to contribute their own knowledge and experience in the effort to persuade states to end the widespread suffering of those who are being medically tortured with no effective redress.

Free ‘Commercial Speech’ Cases Threaten Pharmaceutical Regulation

Two recent court rulings argue that pharmaceutical companies have a first amendment right to market drugs “off-label” with a lack of scientific evidence, threatening...

Benzodiazepine Prescriptions Increase with Overdose Deaths

A recent article in the American Journal of Public Health calls for policy level interventions to reduce the use of benzodiazepines, drugs commonly prescribed...

Rethinking Public Safety – The Case for 100% Voluntary

It is time to create an entirely voluntary psychiatric system. International conscience is clear. The singling out of people with psychosocial disabilities is not worthy of a free society. There are better, safer ways to address legitimate public needs.

“Big Pharma and the Big Push for Patients to Take Their Meds”

“The pharma industry loses tens of billions in worldwide sales each year when patients don’t fill, or refill, their prescriptions,” Rebecca Robbins reports for STAT. So...

The CHRUSP Call to Action, and Its Significance

Various instruments of the United Nations have commented on forced treatment, or involuntary confinement, or both (for details, see Burstow, 2015a), and a number of truly critical additions to international law have materialized. Arguably, the most significant of these is the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. What makes it so significant? For one thing, it is because this landmark convention puts forward nothing less than a total ban on both involuntary treatment and the involuntary confinement of people who have broken no laws.

BMJ Editorial Calls for Regulations to Address Medical Fraud in UK

Richard Smith, the chair of the board of trustees at BMJ, penned an editorial yesterday bringing increased scrutiny to research misconduct and medical fraud in the UK. Smith identifies denial about the seriousness of the problem and the reluctance of universities to submit themselves to reviews as the two major reasons that Britain has failed to address these issues.

Psych Rights Wins Legal Battle in Alaska

On Friday, Psych Rights won a legal fight in Alaska Supreme Court reversing an order for an involuntary psychiatric evaluation. Opinion →

“Where Police Violence Encounters Mental Illness”

In The Opinion Pages of the New York Times, Matthew Epperson discusses the devastating results of police acting as the primary responders to mental health crises. “If we are to prevent future tragedies, then we should be ready to invest in a more responsive mental-health system and relieve the police of the burden of being the primary, and often sole, responders.”

“Under Gun Rules, F.B.I. Will Receive Health Data”

“We are concerned about the implications of this rule,” said Jennifer Mathis, a lawyer at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, an advocacy group for patients. “It points a finger inappropriately at people with mental illness as a source of gun violence. It’s a bad precedent to start creating exceptions to the privacy law for people with mental illness, who are responsible for about 4 percent of incidents of gun violence.”

“Obama Gun Regs Ease Mental Health Reporting to FBI”

"HHS said it took pains to avoid any change to gun check reporting that would weaken physician–patient confidentiality and deter individuals from voluntarily seeking...

“F.D.A. Targets Inaccurate Medical Tests, Citing Dangers and Costs”

Following an eye-opening FDA report, the Obama administration is attempting to pass tighter regulations on medical tests. “Inaccurate and unreliable medical tests are prompting...

“The Rise and Fall of the Blockbuster Antipsychotic Seroquel”

Martha Rosenberg highlights how the popular antipsychotic Seroquel is a perfect example of how direct-to-consumer advertising made billion dollar blockbuster drugs possible before side-effects...

The Ghost of Research Future

Two facts about Robert Califf are beyond question. He is an expert on clinical trials, who is already seen as a leading architect of the future of medical research. And as the New York Times put it, he has “deeper ties to the pharmaceutical industry than any FDA commissioner in recent memory”. A lot of senior figures in medicine support Califf in spite of his ties to Pharma. The guy is just so bright, and understands the nuts and bolts of drug research so well! Surely a person like this is more useful than some outsider who offers only a squeaky-clean resume, they argue.

After the Black-Box: Majority of Children Starting SSRIs Still Receiving Too High of Dose

In 2004, the FDA added a black-box warning to SSRI antidepressants on the increased risk of suicide among children taking these drugs. A new study suggests that this warning has increased the proportion of children who begin an antidepressant on a low dose, but the majority are still receiving higher than recommended doses.

Leah Harris and Tim Murphy Talk “Mental Illness and the Law”

Today on Radio Times, U.S. Representative Tim Murphy (R-PA), Mark Salzer, professor and chair of the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences at Temple University, and Leah...

“We Need REAL Change in Mental Health Policy, Not the Illusion of Reform”

David Shern, from Johns Hopkins University, writes that the latest mental health “Murphy bill” in Congress is “an expansion of the approaches that got us into our current difficulties.” “Early intervention and prevention, assessable and patient-focused services with a rehabilitation orientation and increased funding for the community supports needed for successful recovery are the tickets to system improvement.”

“Saving Congressman Murphy from Fraudulent Information”

Dennis Embry, a clinical psychologist and government consultant on mental health, shares a letter he sent to congressman Murphy warning him about how he may have been misled concerning his mental health bill. “I am specifically writing you about erroneous, false information you’ve been given about the National Registry of Evidence Base Programs and Practices. That erroneous information is likely to cause serious problems, which have been withheld from you.”

“Mental Health Bill Caters to Big Pharma and Would Expand Coercive Treatments”

Oryx Cohen at TruthOut explains why the "Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (HR 2646) - commonly known as the 'Murphy Bill' - appears to cater more closely to the desires of pharmaceutical companies than to the actual needs of people in psychological distress, perhaps because of Murphy's connections to key lobbyists." "If the Murphy Bill is passed, psychiatric hospitals and pharmaceutical companies will reap huge financial benefits as a result of increased hospitalization and forced treatment."

“Would Washington’s FDA Fix Cure the Patients or the Drug Industry?”

Legislation is being advanced that would speed up the FDA’s approval process for new drugs and medical devices, according to a report by the Pacific Standard. Pharmaceutical and medical device companies have been lobbying heavily to reduce regulations and are winning over bipartisan support by attaching these measures to increased mental health funding.

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