Friday, February 27, 2015

Children and Lobotomy Drugs

Lobotomies, surgical interventions for depression, psychosis and homosexuality disorders were performed on 40,000 Americans from 1936 to the early 70s. Generally these surgeries were performed without patients' consent.

The Wall Street Journal 's Lobotomy Files informs that 2,000 WW II veterans received psychosurgery while under Veterans Administration care. Patients surviving the procedure were narcotized for life.

The American Psychiatric Association classified homosexuality a mental aberration until 1973.

Public concern regarding lobotomies and other novel experiments conducted on the mentally infirm caused President Carter to set up a National Commission to examine the issue. Members of the Commission determined that Nuremberg protections were not applicable to this vulnerable group because:
....some research involving the mentally infirm cannot be undertaken with any other group, and since this research may yield significant knowledge about the causes and treatment of mental disabilities, it is necessary to consider the consequences of prohibiting such research. Some argue that prohibiting such research might harm the class of mentally infirm persons as a whole by depriving them of benefits they could have received if the research had proceeded.
Psychosurgery, rarely performed in the U.S today, has been replaced with mind-altering drugs which are another form of lobotomy.

Adults were the first population to receive antipsychotic medication. Now these products are commonly used by pediatricians and psychiatrists to control recalcitrant children. There is limited evidence , other than prescription practices, to validate the use of these medications in children. Diagnosing mental disorders in children is a subjective exercise and there are numerous indications that PhRMA and physicians have abused their licenses. Adults choose their treatment regimens; children have no say in their health care.

A 2013 Consumer Reports investigation found that the use of anti-psychotics in children has nearly tripled in the past decade and that many of these prescriptions were written off label i.e. without testing and FDA approval. Consumer Union calls the practice of prescribing anti-psychotic drugs to children an unregulated experiment. Suspect physician practices include concomitant use of five or more anti-psychotics and application of these drugs in children under the age of three.

Medicaid-insured children including state wards are far more likely to receive anti-psychotics than those in the general population. Foster children are targeted because they are routinely used in government-sponsored clinical trials.

Health Canada reported in 2013 that anti-psychotic medication had killed 17 children and harmed 73 others.

The FDA requires drug manufacturers to place black box warnings on most psychotropic medications, an acknowledgement that these products pose grave risks to patients.

American children have died and suffered injury as a result of their psychotropic drug treatments. The question of whether these medications are worth the risks is unknown because the FDA has not released casualty reports.

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