Sunday, November 22, 2009


I note in today's paper a front-page article, "Autism's risky experiments".  Parents are said to be endangering autistic kids by treating them with unscientific regimens.  The problem is effectively summed up by an analogy:  If a child has jumped off a pier, even though science hasn't conclusively proved that throwing a life preserver will save him from drowning there's still a clear duty to try; one must only be sure the life preserver is made of cork, not lead.

It's an excellent point.  Guess what?  Those who believe orthodox treatments for mental illness are cork may be lobbing leaden "life preservers" to fellow human beings in trouble.

I have an institutionalized client who was diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic and found not guilty of murder by reason of insanity, twenty-some years ago.  Schizophrenia of course, is the ultimate mental illness, the model for current orthodoxy.  Because of his diagnosis and his crime, most forensic psychiatrists believe my client should take anti-psychotic medications for the rest of his life whether he's acting crazy or not.  He chooses not to do so, because the drugs have unacceptable side effects.  Completely off of all psychotropic meds for a period of many years now, he shows no symptoms of psychosis; he's in his early sixties and in excellent physical health, successfully taking college classes on line, interacting socially, etc.

A very respectable forensic psychiatrist recently testified in court to the effect that, until such time as this man agreed to take antipsychotic meds, he should be allowed no privileges whatsoever in the institution.  This testimony was based on purported "science", which the court was quickly happy to buy without serious question.

But the orthodoxy that schizophrenia is a known brain disease effectively treated with medication is no better than the so-called "risky experiments" which parents are allegedly perpetrating on their autistic children.  It's probably much worse.

There was a time when almost all learned authorities had great "scientific" evidence of the harmful effects of witchcraft and the value of the Inquisition's "treatments" for it.  Actually, this historical orthodoxy was followed and accepted for hundreds of years -- much longer than the idea that mental illness is brain disease.

A perjury complaint was filed against the psychiatrist who testified against my client.  He changed his tune 180 degrees, saying medication was not an issue in the case.  The complaint which apparently adjusted his reality so severely can be viewed at:

No comments:

Post a Comment