“Full Access” to Mental Health Failed Pittman Boy

February 4th, 2005 | Press Releases

Patricia Weathers
President
www.ablechild.org
(845) 677-8115

Sheila Matthews
National Vice President
www.ablechild.org
(203) 966-8419

 Excerpt: “Didn’t Your Brain have to tell you to Do it?” State’s Attorney questioned the gun expert In the State of South Carolina vs. Pittman

The Christopher Pittman tragedy is being played out in America this week in a small South Carolina courtroom where he is standing trial for the shooting deaths of his grandparents over three years ago. Now, a fifteen year old slender, inconspicuous boy, Christopher is being tried as an adult for the crime which he committed at age twelve, a crime that the defense can legitimately argue was induced by the drug, Zoloft, long suspected of causing possible mania and psychotic episodes and recently linked to suicide ideation.

Pfizer, the maker of the drug Zoloft appeared in court earlier in the week asking that the judge exclude from the defense, certain documents pertaining to their drug, arguing that these documents were “subject to protective orders” in another civil case. This is reminiscent of the October 2004 Congressional Hearings where Pfizer, along with other pharmaceutical giants, was mandated by the Committee to disclose all negative clinical data regarding its SSRI class antidepressant, data which had previously been withheld from the FDA and from the General Public.

At the same time, as the state attempts to prosecute this boy and eradicate any responsibility that this drug had on his mind at the time of the crime, it must dispute the growing evidence linking the drug with violence and mania. It must then prove safety and efficacy for the use in children. The state’s job looks insurmountable considering the FDA itself did not approve Zoloft for use in children.

The State’s gun expert showed the jury how to load and shoot the gun that was used to commit the crime. This demonstration led to a revealing question posed by the State’s own attorney, Barney Giese, “Doesn’t your brain have to tell you to do it?” For better or worse, the state finds itself in a dilemma, relying on psychiatrists own admissions that the drug Zoloft changes brain chemistry and alters human behavior.

Christopher Pittman did not arrive at this courtroom solely by his own actions, others bear responsibility. This boy had “full access” to mental health “treatment” with no barriers. This “full access” altered the course of his life. As Christopher Pittman faces life in prison, one must wonder: If he did not receive this questionable mental health “treatment”, would the outcome be the same? More precisely, as disturbing as it is, it is not where Christopher Pittman goes from here, but where he has been.

For further information regarding antidepressant risks in use in children and legal cases pending visit www.ablechild.org

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