Thursday, December 31, 2009

Irresponsible Lawsuit, Using Garbage Science

I would like to know who is the plaintiff expert in this case, so that he can be held accountable for promulgating garbage science.

"Family Sues Harvard Over Son's Suicide

The family of a Harvard undergraduate who committed suicide two years ago filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Harvard College and two professionals at University Health Services on Wednesday.

John B. Edwards III '10 was a sophomore preparing for a medical career and training for the Boston Marathon when he committed suicide in November 2007.

The lawsuit, filed by his father, John B. Edwards II, alleges that his son sought care at UHS in June 2007 because he could not study for as long a period of time as his friends. According to the complaint, a nurse practitioner prescribed Adderall to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in addition to two antidepressants, Prozac and Wellbrutin. Edwards was also taking Accutane, a powerful anti-acne drug. Three of these four drugs have been associated with heightened suicide risk.

Lisa G. Arrowood, the attorney representing Edwards, said that drug combination is inappropriate and is associated with an increased risk of suicide."

Student Suicidal? Expel from College

Thank the irresponsible and garbage science lawsuits for this catastrophic decision.

Expel Students Who Might Kill Themselves?

By Sally Satel

Imagine you are a sophomore in college. The semester has been academically overwhelming, and your girlfriend recently dumped you. One night it reaches crisis level and you go to campus mental health worried you might harm yourself. You volunteer to enter the hospital and are released a few days later feeling more hopeful.

Then your college tells you to leave school. Period. No formal evaluation of your mental health condition. No discussion with you. Just out.

According to a newly released report from the State of New Jersey called College Students in Crisis: Preventing Campus Suicides and Protecting Civil Rights, policies which allow or require removal based solely on the existence of suicidal thoughts or behavior may be increasing. They are premised on the need to remove the student from the stresses of student life and to motivate them to get the care they need.

In the wake of tragedies such as the self-immolation of a sophomore at M.I.T. in 2000 and the shooting spree at Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 2007, concerns among administrators took on urgency. But lawyers argue that such blanket involuntary removal policies infringe upon a student's civil rights.

Within the last few years, several high-profile law suits against George Washington University, Hunter College, and the City University of New York have been waged by students forced into withdrawal. All were found to have violated provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of mental illness.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Nancy Grace Interview Called a Factor in Suicide

Attorney reviews the elements of intentional infliction of emotional distress. The suicide note does not mention the Nancy Grace Show.

Emotional problems of the suicider reviewed with her attorney.

"A Harvard professor says a CNN Headline News host's relentless questioning of a Florida mother three years ago contributed to her suicide.

That's according to a filing in a wrongful death case brought by the family of Melinda Duckett. Duckett's 2-year-old son was reported missing in 2006, and CNN host Nancy Grace launched aggressive nightly coverage of the case.

The family claims that Grace's questioning and CNN's coverage decisions inflicted severe emotional distress on the young mother. Grace interviewed Duckett after speculation had begun about the mother's alleged involvement in the toddler's disappearance.

The next day, Duckett shot herself in the head."

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Scapegoating Father Sues Harvard for Son's Suicide

Acne is associated with an elevated risk of suicide. In looking at the collection of people committing suicide while on Accutane, it is smaller than expected from a pool of 5 million people prescribed the drug. Accutane may have a protective effect in preventing suicide by people with acne. Obviously, it is ordinary common sense. If a drug causes agitation and markedly worsened moods, stop taking it, and ask the doctor for another.

The FDA warning about suicide thoughts in young people taking anti-depressants was a false, irresponsible warning. It killed hundreds of young people by suicide by its intimidation of family doctors and pediatricians prescribing anti-depressants to this population. A plaintiff verdict in this case would have a similar effect as the warning. It would deter non-psychiatrists, and drive colleges out of the mental health clinic business. Both would be catastrophic to the mental and public health of the nation.

The suit should be dismissed on first pleading. It should be considered frivolous, and to have an improper motives, scapegoating and vengeance.

"The father of a Harvard College sophomore who killed himself in 2007 sued the school’s president and fellows for wrongful death, alleging the institution’s health service prescribed drugs known to increase suicide risk.

John B. Edwards II of Wellesley, Massachusetts, sued on behalf of the estate of his son, known as Johnny, in state court in Middlesex County on Dec. 2. A doctor and nurse employed by Harvard simultaneously prescribed skin, antidepressant and attention-deficit disorder drugs linked to suicide and other side effects, according to the complaint.

“Three of these drugs have risks associated with heightened suicidality,” the father’s lawyer alleged in the complaint. “All four drugs have significant side effects.”

Harvard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts is the undergraduate school of Harvard University, whose $26-billion endowment is the world’s largest academic fund.

“The care he received at Harvard University Health Services was thorough and appropriate and he was monitored closely by its physicians and allied health specialists,” Harvard said yesterday in an e-mailed statement. “Similar complaints previously have been filed with the Board of Registration in Medicine, the Board of Registration in Nursing and the Board of Registration in Pharmacy, and in all three instances the complaints were dismissed upon review.”