Sunday, January 2, 2011

Child soldiers in Washington State

It is hard for me as an outside reader to really appreciate the complexities of the struggles that other people like Stephany of Soulful Sepulcher and Becky of Involuntary Transformation have been having with the mental health system for their relatives. There is so much specific information that an outside reader can get lost. I don't know if I am just waking up or if it is well know by others that children under 18, especially if they are institutionalized, are trialling drugs that are already on the market for eventual approval for children.

I've been following Becky's blog about her son's experience with the mental health system in Washington State. Washington State has decided that age 13 is the legal of the age to give informed consent when it comes to the mental health treatment. This is not in line with the age of consent in other types of health situations, in Washington State. Patients' rights groups have been agitating to let adults decide whether they want mental health treatment or not, and Washington State extends this privilege to 13 year olds? This is odd, indeed, becautoday's parents, including negligent ones, are lining up to get their young teens treated. Parents would gladly give their permission hoping for a quick fix. So, what on the one hand looks "progressive" in having young people make their own choices, on the other hand is something more sinister.

I don't know how it works in other jurisdictions or whether Washington State is unique, but something seems rotten in the State of Washington. I don't have the time to research the age of consent for mental health treatment in all jurisdictions but age 13 strikes me as surely the youngest. Check out the Community Health Plan of Washington here. Note what the plan says about cases of substance abuse. •Minors 13 or older may get this treatment without consent if DSHS decides minor is a "child in need of services."

When Becky's son turned 13, the doctor's wrested complete control of decisions on the medications away from the mother. That's what age of consent is all about. I have the further impression that her son was then deemed too sick to make his own decisions and fell under the complete control of the State.

Step 1 is taking the medical decision-making away from the parents of under 18s.

Step 2 is the State seizing complete control by deeming the child in need of services.

Step 3 is even more sinister because it appears, in the case of Becky's son (and obviously countless others) that he was then enrolled in drug trials. From the impression I have I from reading Becky's blog, these were not what the public usually thinks of as drug trials, where drugs are trialled before they are FDA approved. Her son appears to have been subjected to a variety of neuroleptics that are currently on the market but not approved for use in people under 18.

Ergo, it would seem that the pharmaceutical lobby has managed to get certain jurisdictions to lower the age of consent in mental health matters and then moves in with conducting experiments on the very young in order to win eventual approval of their products for use in children.

What I would like to find out is how widely known is it that children are trialing drugs? It is widely known that growing numbers of children are being put on antipychotics (off-label) and that the brunt of this falls on poor children but does the public know that lowering the age of consent for children means that pharma moves in and tests these drugs on child users of the mental health system? It is, of course, much easier to test these drugs if the child is institutionalized.


  1. Even in private practice fully paid by top notch insurance, when my child was 13 the psychiatrist told my daughter and myself she did not have to 'have mom at the appt' or be involved at all due to the law of consent being 13.

    The story of Dan Markingson in MN who killed himself in the Seroquel drug trial is another case of no informed consent.

    Also, in locked psych wards (not just the state hospital)patients are always given meds for discharge--don't take them? don't get out.

    I've been inside 4 separate facilities and see patients coerced, forced injected...

    One woman was at my feet sobbing and screaming and yelling help to call her attorney, objecting to the B-52 Haldol combo about to be forcibly injected into her and the staff ingored the phone request and used disposable restraints to her hands, feet and 6 staff held her down to shoot her up.

    I was a visitor! imagine what I didn't see. Imagine if you cannot speak.

    Until the medication treatment protocol is stopped for care in the U.S. this will continue. It's all about psych drugs here.

    I've seen ppl get wheeled in on gurneys time and time again and they do not get information on the drugs they take at all and if they DO know what to ask for or not take---due to side effects--they are ignored.

    We have a mental health crisis in America and groups such as NAMI that support drug based medical care and take money from pharma which directly influences their drug promomotions are heavy players in the game of profit before patients in the treatment of mental illness.

    That's why ppl should read Whitaker's book--the rise of disability and ppl disabled from psych labels/drugs is at all time high and he ASKS the right question! Is it because of the increase of use of psych meds? and labels?


    PS--child does not have to be in the institution for that lack of consent to happen.

  2. every single psychiatrist my son was ever seen by did not think informed consent necessary. the pain and guilt is crushing at times...i did nothing to feel guilty about. but look what i could not stop!? even the nuremberg code does not protect the mentally ill in the united states. psychiatry is not a medical specialty.

  3. There is a difference between "informed" consent and "age of consent." Even adults are not given the information about side effects, alternative treatment, etc.(No "informed" consent.) "Age of consent" is different. In this case the shocking age of consent of 13 seems to be a backdoor way of allowing drug companies to experiment on children. I doubt that either you (Stephany or Becky) were told that your child was going to be "testing/trialing drugs for use in the under 18 market. I suspect that what they told you was simply that they were going to be "trying" a different medication on your child. I'm may not making myself clear, here.
    Stephany, from what I read about Washington State it applies to outpatient treatment as well. However, I suspect it is easier to get away with it in an institution.

  4. Rossa, Stephany, and Becky -

    Texas has one of the worst track-records in the nation for recruiting/experimenting with kids...

    Especially, in foster care and Medicaid.
    Where they are held at mercy.

    I had the opportunity to testify in Austin, Texas at our last legislative session (2009) with John Breeding, Ph.D....

    I've never seen so many lobbyists... men in thousand dollar suits, pushing to keep the status-quo... the drugs flowing in the state Medicaid and foster care systems...

    To say that John and I (and a couple of others) were out-numbered would be an understatement... Testimony in one state Senate bill had our few against dozens on the pro-Pharma side...

    The problem is that drug companies lobby, and buy the votes they need... One bill was supposed to have a public hearing in the morning... It was almost 10pm before some of us testified... Due to the lobbying efforts of Pharma, and psychiatry... The phones were ringing in their offices all day long, and the suits were calling on Committee chairs, and aides...

    There's a lot of money in all of this... tons of money... More than the average person can wrap their head around... And kids are used as guinnea pigs...

    It's disgusting!

    Duane Sherry

  5. Information is very blurry when you place a relative in a psych hospital, no matter what the age. I still don't know, for example, what the policy for consent is in our jurisdiction. I didn't know what I didn't know. I do feel I probably was allowed far greater influence than what I am reading about what happens in the United States.

    The doctors here told me that they wanted to "try" this drug or that drug, but when I asked why this particular drug, they would simply rattle off what it's supposed to do. They wouldn't tell me that possibly the real reason was that the pharmaceutical company wants feedback on its drug, so if Chris was involved in trialling a drug, I wouldn't have known.

    So, when these drugs come up for FDA approval in people under 18, is some bright light going to ask the question, who have you trialled this on and how did you get permission to conduct these experiments on children?

  6. Rossa,

    I am so disappointed in the lack of humane treatment and the absolute blind eye that is turned to the outcome of so many of who are now as a result of the lack of concern for their Human Rights and Informed Consent disabled or dead from the "medical treatment" of their distress. Children, Veterans and the elderly are three sub-groups.

    In addition, the amount of Medicaid fraud that has been committed under the guise of "medicine" by psychiatry. The manufacturers have been fined for marketing practices---psychiatry aided and abetted, in fact every doctor who wrote prescriptions and pharmacy that filled them and billed them to Federal Medicaid payment system also committed fraud.

    I received a confidential response from a psychiatrist to my the blog post, " Age of Consent...," that inspired this post of yours. It is heartbreaking. the lack of recognition of harm done. " psychiatry, curing symptoms reigns supreme over a collaborative approach. Parents who objected to medical treatment at best they would (be) see(n) as ill informed and at worst impaired themselves." In reference to my son's being used in the trialling of neuroleptics without consent, "if reviewed by psychiatrists would be judged and totally appropriate."

    There are none so blind as those who will not see. The supposed intent of psychiatry, is supposedly to medically treat "mental illness" to benefit those who receive this "treatment."

    Given the outcome for my son, and even more the number of children, veterans and elderly who have obviously NOT benefited particularly the "adverse events" and fatal outcomes. Particularly, the ones who have lost their lives, dure to due to being court ordered "medical treatment" bring two quotes to mind.

    "Be wary of those who begin with another's concern to end with their own." Balthasar Gracian

    "Whenever a doctor can not do good, he must be kept from doing harm." Hippocrates


  7. Oh, come on! Of course it's not nice to have someone at your feet, sobbing, and yelling help. But we're talking real brain disease here, right? And one of it's symptoms is that people don't know how good the Haldol is for them. Yeah well, there are some nasty side effects, but what are we supposed to do, face to face with such a horrible, real brain disease? Let people die?? For, as we all know, these brain diseases have may very well be fatal, if untreated, isn't that so? Real, medical conditions like schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder, or depression, call for real, medical treatment. Like Haldol. For obvious reasons, a Soteria House won't do. That's only for those, who were "misdiagnozed". -- Oh my, Loren Mosher and his crew were so incompetent, they misdiagnozed about 85% of their patients! -- So, yeah, it's sad that people like the woman mentioned above make it so hard for everyone to help her, and give her the much needed medical treatment for her medical condition. But it's just the illness, you see. She'll be grateful for the Haldol, once it does its magic. So, there's really no reason to get this emotional, and describe the situation as if we were talking human rights abuses...

    (End of irony, and sorry, Rossa, but the double speak it's a reaction to is really beyond me.)

    As to drug trials, in kids as well as in adults: taken into account that none of these drugs are long-term trialled before they hit the market, isn't the whole thing one huge trial? As I see it, the vast majority of adults is kept stupid with lies about real medical conditions (cough cough...), and thus has no better chance to give informed consent than a kid.

  8. Does anyone have any information or details on a Washington State mental program called "Tamarac" in Spokane Wa? They say they are Joint Comission acreditted, I am just curious, I have a 14 year old child-girl who is begging me to take her there.

  9. You may want to e-mail Stephany at
    She knows a lot about the mental health scene in Washington State. So does Becky at

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