Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Obfuscation: Hunter Watson Sep16 #MentalHealthAct #ScotGov #HumanRights

Here is an Email and 11 page Paper 'Obfuscation' September 2016, received this morning from Hunter Watson, mental health human rights campaigner, Aberdeen, Scotland, sent to Maureen Watt, Minister for Mental Health, Scottish Parliament:


Response from Dr Peter J Gordon:

"20th September 2016.

Dear Mr Watson,
Thank you for copying me into this communication and the attached paper which I have now read.

I do hope the Minister will do her very best to provide some clarity to the questions that you raise.

I think most that you circulated your paper to will be aware of my successful petition to the Scottish Parliament for a Sunshine Act (PE1493)which was closed after a public consultation. In a majority the public asked that payments from commercial enterprises to healthcare workers, researchers and academics are made available to the public and that this needs to be on a “Mandatory” basis.

I mention this, as I am of the view that it is a most important backdrop to your paper. In the cases you outline in your paper, psychotropic treatments have been given under the 2003 MH(S)A.

Sunshine Act Petition PE1493
As an NHS doctor working in Scotland I prescribe psychotropic medications as appropriately as I can trying to follow the evidence base.  I am quite certain that healthcare workers all want to help anybody who is suffering. I am also certain that no evidence base can ever be fully complete. However we will not know if we are potentially doing unwitting harm given the current level of commercial interests in NHS Scotland. If anybody is in doubt, have a look at the evidence collected for PE1493: https://holeousia.com/about-me/a-sunshine-act-for-scotland/

Given that current Scottish Guidance on this (HDL 62) has been ignored across Scotland for more than a decade it is reasonable to be significantly concerned about this. I understand that the Scottish Government are currently proceeding with this matter following the closure of my petition in March of this year.

I mentioned evidence. Before signing off, I just want to make a few reminders of  prescribing patterns in Scotland:

·        1 in 7 Scottish adults are now on antidepressants. Mostly taking them long-term it seems. Yet commercial interests only ever undertook short, 6 week studies. There is thus a lot of unknowns about long-term prescribing of antidepressants.

·        Each year, the prescribing of antipsychotics in Scotland, in all age groups, is rising. This concerns me very much. These medications have a role in reducing suffering but are also associated, most commonly with significant, and potentially life-shortening, side-effects.  Such use of antipsychotics in our elders has been very widely promoted by the pharmaceutical industry who developed the term “Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms in dementia” (BPSD). The industry then promoted this use by “educating” healthcare workers on “BPSD”. Today, healthcare workers are even more likely to be “educated” by commercial interests, and indeed, “Continuing medical Education” (CME) is a necessary part for doctor and nurse annual appraisal. The commercial sector are exploiting this professional requirement.

I hope this summary Mr Watson is of some help to you, and that the Minister may consider replying on the additional points I make.

We do need the help of the Scottish Government here to make sure we can achieve the best possible outcome when interventions are made whether willing or unwillingly.

Kind wishes

Dr Peter J Gordon
(writing in my own time)"

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