Friday, April 06, 2007
April 6, 2007, 10:42 AM CDT
SAN MATEO, Calif. -- A child psychiatrist who once headed the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry was arrested amid allegations he had molested male patients dating back to the 1960s.
Dr. William Ayres, 75, was taken into custody Thursday at his San Mateo home and charged with 14 felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14. The charges involve multiple victims, but authorities declined to say how many. The arrest followed a four-year investigation.
Ayres, a prominent psychiatrist who retired last year, had been honored in 2002 by the San Mateo board of supervisors with a lifetime achievement award for "his tireless effort to improve the lives of children and adolescents." He also served as president of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry from 1993 to 1995.
"The real tragedy here is that parents entrusted their children to this doctor for help, and they were victimized while in his care," San Mateo police Capt. Mike Callagy said. "That's so tragic."
Ayres was being held on $1.5 million bail and was scheduled to be arraigned Friday. His attorney did not return a phone call seeking comment and The Associated Press was not immediately able to reach Ayres' family.
Suspicions have dogged Ayres since 2003, when one former patient sued, accusing him of molesting him under the guise of a medical exam on several occasions in the late 1970s when the patient was 13. In July 2005, the two sides reached a confidential settlement in which Ayres' attorney said the psychiatrist did not concede any wrongdoing. Ayres said under oath that he didn't remember the alleged victim and denied molesting him. He acknowledged that he sometimes conducted physical exams of patients, according to a transcript of his deposition in the lawsuit. "I do not think there is any standard of care that says it's inappropriate for a physician who is a child psychiatrist, that they should not do physical examinations," Ayres said, according to the transcript.
At least two other molestation reports against Ayres arose before the lawsuit, but one was determined to be "unfounded" in 1987, and the other alleged victim wouldn't cooperate with police, according to court records.
In 2005, at least two other men said Ayres molested them when they were teens in the 1960s and 1970s, but authorities couldn't proceed with the cases because the statute of limitations had expired, police reports show.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
- There have been articles in New York Times, Washington Post, Indianapolis Star, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune and reports on ABC, CNN Cable and FOX National News about a new study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, which found that normal grieving reactions connected to unpleasant life experiences are similar to the psychiatric checklist for “depression,” and that there is often no clear distinction between those who are supposedly “disordered” and those who are “non-disordered.”
- Lead author Jerome Wakefield and researcher Allan Horwitz said their study pointed out that sadness has increasingly come to be seen as pathological in the United States.
- A Washington Post article on this story, entitled “Criteria for Depression Are Too Broad, Researchers Say: Guidelines May Encompass Many Who Are Just Sad,” cites Horwitz, who says that pharmaceutical companies, the psychiatric profession and patient advocacy groups have all contributed to the phenomenon of transforming normal sorrow into “depressive disorder”.
- Horwitz said that companies stand to make more money from the one-size-fits-all approach, researchers find the cookie-cutter model of disease to make it easier to do studies, and psychiatry has come to think of itself as "the arbiter [judge] of normality," he said.
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
From a story on CNN:
MIAMI, Florida (AP) -- One doctor authorized all 11 prescription medications found in Anna Nicole Smith's hotel room, most of them in the name of the Playboy Playmate's companion, according to documents released by the medical examiner's office Wednesday.
More than 600 pills were missing from prescriptions no more than five weeks old at the time of Smith's death, although it was unclear if she took all of them, according to information obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request.
Dr. Joshua Perper, Broward County's medical examiner, has said all of the drugs were meant for Smith, though they were prescribed in the names of others.
A probe by the Seminole Police Department agreed with Perper's assessment that Smith's death at 39 was an accidental overdose and that there was no foul play.
Information released by Perper's office shows eight of the prescriptions were issued under the name of Howard K. Stern, the starlet's lawyer-turned-companion. Two were for Alex Katz, though it was unclear if that was an alias or the name of someone connected to Smith. One prescription was under the name of Smith's friend and psychiatrist, Dr. Khristine Eroshevich.
Eroshevich traveled with Smith to Florida, where she died. The medical examiner's office said Eroshevich authorized all the medications found at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida, where Smith was found unresponsive before her death February 8.
Calls to Eroshevich were not immediately returned Wednesday.