“All Must Make Effort to Prevent Child Abuse”

April 23rd, 2005 | Press Releases

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

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

 “The State of Connecticut Should Take Its Own Advice”

The State of Connecticut should be practicing what it preaches and work harder at preventing abuse of children in state care. A good place to start would be to ban the use of all psychiatric drugs linked to suicide and violence that are currently mandated out to a large percentage of the children in state Care. In addition, another good step would be for the state to stop trafficking children from the Department of Children and Families into clinical drug trials.

The community and taxpayers give millions of dollars to fund State mental health programs to prevent child abuse. How is prevention possible when the State’s failure to warn potential clients and its own use of forced “treatment” is occurring? After all, this is part of the package that Connecticut taxpayers are paying for. Realistically, funding to prevent child abuse would not be a bad thing if the State was held accountable for ensuring that proper and full informed consent is provided to parents, caregivers, and children prior to any mental health “treatment.” The State’s failure in this area involves the fact that it fails to warn potential recipients of mental health “treatment” of the real risks of psychiatric drugs, the lack of objective testing surrounding psychiatric disorders as a whole, and the fact that a psychiatric diagnosis may mask a real underlying medical, educational, or environmental problem. The State goes a step further by not providing a person his or her basic right to “opt out” of “treatment”. In turn, force fed mental health programs are the norm, the standard of care for children within state care. The State has assumed the rights of these children, without question.

Let us be honest with ourselves. We should at this point be well aware of the fact that there is no accountability from the State on the issue of forced drugging within the Department of Children & Families (DCF). This is proven in the fact that our organization, Ablechild, had to petition the State back in 2003 in order for the it to remove two drugs, Paxil and Effexor, that were linked to suicide, not FDA approved for use in children, and that were being used on children in state care. Just months later, GlaxoSmithKline, makers of the drug Paxil, was invited by DCF to participate in policy meetings on psychotropic drugs used on children within the Department. The FDA had warned that “Paxil” should not be used in children; the United Kingdom has banned its use. In November 2002, FOX National News, exposed confidential documents from GlaxoSmithKline which suggested that a patient taking the drug was 8 times more likely to commit suicide then a patient on placebo (sugar pill). Ablechild immediately put in a request to the Governor’s office that it wanted to attend those meetings to allow for equal access and fair representation of the issue that was to be discussed. Their request was denied. At the time, the Governor indicated that the decision was made by Ms. Darlene Dunbar, the head of the Department of Children & Families. Ms. Dunbar advocated on behalf of the psychiatric industry and the drug companies. There was no one present to advocate on behalf of the children who were baring the brunt of “treatment” forced upon them in state care.

Ablechild is currently watching important legislation, H.B. 5179, that if passed, would protect the basic human rights of all children within state care by preventing any forced or mandated psychiatric “treatments” or programs onto them. It also hopes to have the State recognize the importance of informed consent and adhere to it. The Organization will continue to ask for accountability until this end is realized.

With all due respect, the State should begin using the taxpayer’s dollars more wisely by repairing its mental health system and its own clear and obvious abuses of children within State Care.

For more information on state psychiatric abuse within foster care, please visit us at www.ablechild.org.

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