Greg Hessoin, JD, Writes About Medicating Children

This is an interesting article. It’s one-sided, providing mainly the opinions of Dr. Peter Breggin and Kevin Hall of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, both of whom see little or no value in prescribing psychiatric medications to children. It’s important to remember that there are lots of parents out there and adults with psychiatric diagnoses who will swear by their medications as helping them to function better. And I’m not sure I share Mr. Hessoin’s opinion expressed in his final paragraph that teaching children about God is the answer. While religion and spirituality can bring comfort, focus, and satisfaction for some, it is not the prescription for everybody.

In any case, though, I sympathize with this lawyer’s plight in trying to defend a parent whose child is in state custody and who does not want their child on psychiatric medications. The youngster here is a 6-year-old boy who is reportedly on “Risperdal, Concerta, and Seroquel, plus the stimulant Clonidine and the anti-anxiety drug Klonopin.” I also sympathize with the residential facility or foster home that is trying to care for this child while giving him 5 medications a day. From Mr. Hessoin’s article:

When you are there, standing before an actual judge, real courtroom drama feels much less exciting than what you see on TV. There is no swelling music soundtrack, no scripted performances, and no overblown oratory.

Recently, I participated in a typically dull hearing that likely ruined a life — the life of a little six-year-old mildly autistic boy. The banality of the process was in contrast with the seriousness of the outcome.

Twelve adults gathered in a small, closed courtroom to decide how many powerful, anti-psychotic drugs that the child, who is currently in the custody of the state, would be required to take. The patient did not have a voice, since he was not there. No doctor was present, but plenty of lawyers were. The little boy’s lawyer saw nothing wrong with drugging him into a stupor. As the attorney for the heartbroken mother, I spoke against the whole idea; I suggested to the court that other factors may be causing the child’s problems, and that the compulsory administration of drugs by the state was simply an excuse to avoid addressing those issues.

The verdict: the little guy would be forced to take anti-psychotic drugs Risperdal, Concerta, and Seroquel, plus the stimulant Clonidine and the anti-anxiety drug Klonopin.

This outcome begs the question of whether a six-year-old child, let alone children as young as three, can be diagnosed as psychotic. And, whether children should be drugged by potions so powerful that most of them are not approved by the FDA for use in children. [full text]

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3 thoughts on “Greg Hessoin, JD, Writes About Medicating Children

  1. USA Today has an article about lead poisoning. Some children were having behavior problems before their lead poisoning was discovered. I fear that doctors can easily miss such causes as lead poisoning, nutritional deficiency, noise and light pollution. Why are so many of our children suffering this way?

  2. In my experience, lead poisoning does not get missed by doctors, but it’s hard to know how they take it into account when prescribing. I notice many kids with a lead poisoning history are prescribed stimulants, and some have been on stimulants since the time their lead poisoning was identified. It helps them “be calmer,” it seems, in the short term, but there are big questions about the long-term effects.

  3. There should be a big gulp when reading the way in which the FDA and CDC behave. Unfortunately, it only becomes troubling that until a tragedy comes about, most parents blindly follow their godlike doctor’s recommendations. I agree that nutrition (dyes, msg and so many other chemicals) plays a huge role as ninjanurse hits upon. Other countries demand a broad range of possibilities while we tend to just take that magic pill.

    What are genetic destruction are we doing to our children…”long=term effects” (from above) will be too late to fix…or maybe Big Pharma will have another pill to counter this too! Ka-ching!

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