Monday, March 07, 2005

FDA Determined To Protect Reputation As Most Slimeball Government Agency

Let's move away for a moment from considering Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Luvox and the other psychiatric drugs designated as SSRIs. These drugs are the main focus of this blog because of the mind-numbing fact that although they cause insanity, they are being used to treat insanity.

But the underlying issue is the question of what the FDA is thinking when they approve killer drugs.

Many years ago, when Prozac was rejected in Germany and England because of its suicide-related side effects, the FDA happily approved it, breaking the back of what should have been a universal rejection of the drug. Soon thereafter, a top exec at the FDA retired to a posh job at Eli Lilly, the drug company that makes Prozac. This was the beginning of the FDA's slide into the gutter. At first it looked like a few unethical mavericks had managed to line their pockets by sliming an agency that had always had the respect of Americans. But as the years have gone by it becomes more and more obvious that the FDA has completely dropped any pretense of respectability. It now moves by night under dim street lights wearing a short skirt and no underwear and way too much lipstick.

Sincere people are trying to prop up the reputation of the FDA but every best effort is undermined by repeated episodes of the FDA staggering home after midnight smelling like cheap whiskey. The latest such episode is incredible. It has to do with the Vioxx-type painkillers. When it came out that Vioxx sharply increases the risk of heart attack and stroke, the FDA quickly tugged her skirt hems down in an attempt to achieve some level of respectability, and rushed to the microphone with furrowed brow. "We'll investigate!" she said, to a grateful nation.

The investigation was shortly completed shortly thereafter. "Vioxx and it's blood brothers Celebrex and Bextra have been thoroughly investigated and they are innocent," piped the FDA, "Our blue-ribbon panel has spoken! No charges will be filed."

But this isn't our first picnic. We didn't just fall off the turnip truck. So we take a look at the FDA's blue ribbon panel. Of the 32 people on it, 10 had close financial ties to the drug companies that make these drugs. How did this affect the proceedings? An example was the vote that cleared Bextra. The big pharma 10 voted 9-1 in favor. If it wouldn't have been for this lopsided side show, the vote would have shut the drug down.

The interesting comments came from panel members whose strings aren't being pulled by big pharma. One MD said that as many as 50 people per day are dying from taking these drugs.

But let's wind down this little FDA indiscretion. The truth is the only people who die from these painkillers are the people who use them. They may ruin a few lives and leave behind some devastated relatives -- at the rate of 50/day. But that's kid stuff to the ruined lives created by the epidemic of SSRI use. It's one thing to have Daddy die of a heart attack, and another thing altogether to have Daddy hang himself or blow his brains out -- or storm into his place of work and kill his boss and co-workers before killing himself. It's one thing to have Mother suffer a stroke and wake up with one side of her face not working. It's another thing altogether to have Mother drown her four kids in a bathtub or chop her children up -- two deeds done by SSRI-soaked U.S. mothers did. Or blow away grandma and grandpa with a shotgun as a 12-year-old on Zoloft did recently. SSRIs are criminal and so are the people who covered up their side effects. And so are the people in the FDA who put their personal gain ahead of the sacred trust they have abandoned.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Psychiatric Commitment Used To Shut Up Whistleblower

An Army sergeant in Iraq was tucked away in a psychiatric ward for complaining about crude treatment of detainees under interrogation, in spite of the fact that he was labeled as normal in his initial evaluation. Regardless of this, he was shipped off to a psychiatric ward in Germany for "evaluation" for an indeterminate time.

This was reported today in a Washington Post article.

This is of course the way dissent was suppressed in Russia during the dark years of the U.S.S.R. Dissenters were famously sent to "Siberia". The usual excuse was insanity. The government would declare them insane and pick them up. Their family might see them again years later or never, depending on the circumstances. The same tactic was used in Nazi Germany, and in most earlier cultures in one way or another. There was always an Inquisitioner or High Priest or Witch Doctor willing to fulfill the need of those in power to shut up the opposition.

The US is increasingly subject to this kind of thing. The move to initiate involuntary psychiatric testing for citizens is the subject of more than one failed bill in Congress over the last few years, and is on the table again this year in the form of the "Universal Mental Health Screening" initiative. This would create a file on every citizen. Given the penchant of psychiatrists to define everything from drinking coffee to picking your nose as a mental illness, it would be only a short step to define someone as "insane" and haul them off. This might seem ridiculous, but is not. It has already happened in isolated cases. During the reign of Janet Reno, there was the incident where the relatives of an old lady living alone got a judge to rule that she should be committed to a local hospital for a 90-day mental competency evaluation. This woman had no criminal record and according to friends and neighbors had never hurt anyone. She refused to go along with the game, though (which would have almost undoubtedly resulted in at least forced drugging if not worse) and the FBI wound up having to shoot it out with her as she defended her house with her husband's old shotgun.

The bottom line in the US today is you can be imprisoned without due process -- without committing any crime -- if the judge declares you mentally incompetent. Or even if the judge declares you should be taken away and evaluated for competency. This is not constitutional, and it's not safe for thee and me. It's time to tell our legislators that spiriting away people in the middle of the night without due process in the name of "mental health" is not to be used to coerce the populace.