By now you have heard of the story of Gabriel Myers, 7 year old foster child in the Florida DCF placement home who committed suicide. He was obviously over-medicated with psychotropics and being given anti-psychotics when it’s not indicated. He had no evidence of schizophrenia. But according to one of the many psychiatrist, Dr. Punjwani, in the “huge group practice”, his justification is that it’s the pharmaceutical companies fault for not doing enough clinical trials on children (I summarized). I think this points to several treatment errors. The fact that a child might see several psychs in a “huge group practice” indicates the conveyor belt mentality you get with groups of physicians who don’t see the same patients or do the followup themselves when treating children with psychotropics. Not that this excuses them for using these drugs at all, but it’s an error waiting to happen as probably not one of the psychiatrist can tell you what Gabriel was on taking on the day he killed himself. Dr. Punjwani also points out that it is not illegal to prescribe drugs to children off-label and that the prescribing of these to young children is “routine”. Wow, that scares me. It’s like there is no acknowledgment that these are chemicals and that they adversely affect young children. Even with black box warnings on them. I smell the fragrance of arrogance when I hear these statements and the puffed out chest of MDs that are “board certified” to do whatever they think is for the good of their patients.
My heart breaks for this child and the many that are being subjected to this type of thinking. But I’m also concerned that NOT ONE NURSE OR NURSE PRACTITIONER has come forward to either condemn what is being done or complained about it, filed a report against, or championed the children’s Human Rights that are obviously being trampled on by the medical community agreeing with this practice. I cannot believe that this “huge group practice” does not employ office nurses, clinical experts with RN behind their names, ARNPs with Psychiatry as their specialty who did not see, recognize, or just plain cared enough to question this practice with Gabriel or any other child under this groups care. I’m floored with that thought. I can’t wrap my head around the idea that these nurses condone drugging children for behavior problems. It’s like they are intentionally ignoring the evidence that there is no evidence of chemical imbalance or biological reason for children’s behavior and that it has never been clinically evident that a child does better in life LONG TERM with drugs as therapy.
Without nurses being the champion and advocate for children in this arena, and standing up to bad practices such as poly-pharmacy in children with behavior issues, no child, including Gabriel, has a chance to living a life under their own volition and with their own sanity intact. Gabriel didn’t have a chance under the present DCF system.