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uncovered psychiatric doctors with deplorable records working for the state’s
Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). Their histories include not only grand
theft and medical malpractice, but overmedicating patients to the point of
death.In a series of outstanding articles in the Palm Beach Post,
reporter Michael Laforgia lays out the heinous trail of a still unfolding
investigation. It began with an expose that children in state custody
were receiving heavy dosages of powerful antipsychotics; in two
years, Florida bought hundreds of thousands of these tablets with no DJJ
tracking system in place to detect practitioner abuse. This led to a finding
that doctors giving the diagnoses had taken huge speaker fees or gifts from drug companies that make
antipsychotics.The Post’s newest article reveals psychiatrists working
in the juvenile justice system whose records should have barred them. “Some
psychiatrists took DJJ jobs after they were cited for breaking the law, making
grave medical missteps or violating state rules,” writes Laforgia. “Others were
hired after they were accused of overmedicating patients, sometimes fatally.
All were empowered to prescribe drugs to jailed kids as
powerful antipsychotic pills flowed freely into Florida’s homes for wayward
The full details should be seen at (http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/s…)
To summarize examples cited:
Dr. Gold Smith Dorval pleaded no contest in 2004 to a
grand theft charge after a probe found he billed Medicaid for more than $350,000
in fraudulent claims – under the pretense of providing therapy to juvenile
delinquents and foster children. No one screened Dorval’s background in 2007
before a state-contracted agency, Compass Health Systems, sent him to work at a
juvenile detention center that year. He states he was “not aware of any
wrongdoing” in accepting the job.
Dr. Charles D. Jack prescribed such powerful cocktails of antidepressants and
painkillers to a patient over a two and a half year period that she died in
2002, at age 42. Facing charges, Dack denied wrongdoing but agreed to pay a
$7000 fine and take a course on misprescribing. None of this prevented him from
working until April of this year at three privately-run juvenile treatment facilities used
by the DJJ.
Dr. Samuel McClure diagnosed an 11-year-old with ADD and
although the boy was quite small for his age, he gave him high concentrations of
antidepressants which had never been approved for children. The mother woke one
morning to find her son dead on the floor. Despite being sued in 2004 for medical
malpractice – a case settled for $500,000 – McClure worked in juvenile
treatment homes from January 2006 until June 2009.
Dr. Sohail Punjwani, another psychiatrist, conducted a drug trial on seven children in 2006, six of
whom overdosed. One slashed her wrists while hallucinating, per a later FDA
warning letter to Punjwani. He went on to work at a juvenile detention center
and then for the foster care system. In 2009 he prescribed a very potent combo
of psychoactive drugs to a 7-year old who subsequently locked himself in the
bathroom of his foster home and hanged himself. Punjwani blames his medication errors with the boy on the
Per the Palm Beach Post, records show “roughly one in eight of the
psychiatrists who have worked for DJJ in the past five years has settled a malpractice lawsuit in
Florida’s DJJ Secretary now has a probe underway into this
matter and the abuse of antipsychotics by the department. No long term studies
have ever proven these drugs safe for kids. But plenty of evidence
shows they can create heavy weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, involuntary
facial and body movements, suicidal thoughts and a life of drug dependency.
Prominent California psychiatrist
under trial for molesting boys in juvenile justice system
Another example of exploiting the most vulnerable is the once highly regarded child psychiatrist, Dr. William
Ayres is undergoing legal proceedings in San Mateo California for
accusations of molesting boys in state care, under the guise of giving medical
exams. Prosecutors say he knew these youths would hesitate to come forward and
probably wouldn’t be believed if they did.
During his forty years in practice, Ayres saw hundreds of adolescents referred by the juvenile justice
system, court-appointed attorneys and social workers. Several of these victims
have testified against him.
Ayres was a former president of the American
Academy of Adolescent and Child Psychiatry, the leading professional medical
association for child psychiatrists. In 2002 he was honored with a lifetime
achievement award for “his tireless effort to improve the lives of children and
Now 79, Ayres says he has no memory of the victims who have accused him.
State Mental Hospital Director sentenced to 248 years in prison for molesting foster kids
Yet another high profile figure in the mental health world – Claude Edward
Foulk – was sentenced in February 2011 to 248 years in prison for
molesting foster sons and other boys over a period of four decades. Reportedly,
he would threaten to return them to foster care if they didn’t comply. But some
of those victims, now grown men, went to the police.
Prior to his arrest in 2010, Foulk was the executive director of the Napa State Hospital,
California’s largest mental health facility which includes sex offenders in its
patient population. Faulk was selected to run the hospital by the Director of
the Department of Mental Health in California.
“Hey, I didn’t do anything wrong”
What’s disturbing is the diabolical lack of accountability reflected in these psychiatrists’ statements and actions.
Denying accusations, shifting blame, justifying atrocities. Equally disturbing
is how many government agencies, schools and parents blindly place children in
the hands of these pseudo-doctors. Yet they do not use blood tests, brain scans or any other
medical tests in diagnosing mental disorders and putting millions of kids worldwide on powerful drugs.
The sordid history of psychiatry’s vigorous and deceptive campaign to medicalize itself and put it on stature with other MDs
is covered in Robert Whitaker’s book released in 2010: “Anatomy of an Epidemic.”
About the author:
Monica G. Young is a human rights investigator and
educational writer with a purpose to expose the truth about the pharmaceutical
and psychiatric industries and safeguard human liberty. She encourages non-drug
alternative approaches based on healthy lifestyles and human decency. She
supports the Citizens Commission on Human Rights and like-minded groups. For
more facts and video documentaries, see cchr.org.