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The MOTHERS Act: Thalidomide Revisited?

by Fred A. Baughman, Jr., MD** & Amy Philo*

SAN DIEGO, May 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch reported that on Mother's Day, May 10, 1998, Sharon Alley stabbed her eight month old daughter, Brooke in the heart, killing her. Months before, Alley was prescribed Paxil, became psychotic, and threw then five-week-old Brooke to the floor, fracturing her skull.

Postpartum Support International (PSI) founder Jane Honikman told The Times-Dispatch that Americans don't understand post-partum depression (PPD) and that this "mental illness" is the reason mothers like Sharon Alley kill their children.

In 2007 the House of Representatives passed H.R. 20, "The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act," which mandates mental health screening for all new mothers and referral to a mental health provider for "essential services" for any mother "at risk" of PPD. The bill mandates use of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), shown to triple the number of women "diagnosed." Swedish researchers recently urged: "Public health authorities should not advocate screening of unproved value." (Krantz, et al, 2008)

S. 1375 / H.R. 20 "The MOTHERS Act" is named for Melanie Stokes, who committed suicide when 3 1/2 months postpartum, following "treatment" with electroshock therapy and myriad drugs, including antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, and antipsychotics. Melanie jumped from a 12-story hotel window in Chicago after her fourth psychiatric hospitalization. PSI claims Melanie's treatments for PPD were too little, too late.

The fundamental fact of the matter is that not a single psychiatric "diagnosis" or "disorder" is an actual disease. A disease must have a demonstrable physical abnormality, such as cancer cells on a "Pap" smear or biopsy, or high blood sugar in diabetes, or uric acid in gout. The only actual abnormality -- disease in any mother "treated" with drugs for "PPD" is the intoxication-poisoning due to ingestion of the psychiatric drug itself. This is not to say that emotional turmoil and pain do not exist -- surely they do, but they are not diseases per se, as psychiatry contends to sell drugs as the first line of treatment. In Sharon Alley's case that drug was Paxil. Without actual diseases to treat, no psychiatric drug can be called essential and justifiable for a pregnant woman where exposure of the unborn child is a certainty. Moreover, no drug can be guaranteed risk-free for either the unborn or nursing child.

On May 15, 2000, The Boston Globe reported: "Dr. Jonathan O. Cole, a Harvard psychiatrist who was one of the first to suggest that Prozac and similar antidepressants could precipitate suicide, is now criticizing drug companies and the US Food and Drug Administration, saying they are failing to take the problem seriously."

In 2005 the UK's Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA), banned antidepressants for those 18 and under due to their worsening the suicide risk.

On May 2, 2007, the FDA expanded the black box suicide warning on antidepressants to apply to young adults ages 18 to 24.

Despite proof that there is no benefit for any Prozac-like, SSRI, antidepressant, over placebo and that these drugs cause suicide, homicide, premature births, stillbirths, and pulmonary hypertension in newborns, they are represented to be safe and are pressed upon normal pregnant women and their unborn and nursing infants by psychiatry, the pharmaceutical industry and government, with profit the only motive. One third of pregnant women in the US already take psychiatric drugs at some point during their pregnancies and most are never warned of the known risks for themselves, their unborn and nursing babies, depriving them of their right to informed consent.

In 1960, Frances O. Kelsey of the FDA blocked an application by the Richardson-Merrell Corporation of Cincinnati to market thalidomide. Her concerns were soon borne out. Reports began appearing from Europe of the growing numbers of babies born with flipper-like limbs, with digits sprouting directly from hips and shoulders -- a condition called phocomelia. In November, 1961, Widukind Lenz, a German pediatrician, blamed thalidomide. He determined that half the mothers with deformed children had taken thalidomide in the first trimester of pregnancy. Before it was over, more than 10,000 such children in 46 countries had been born. But in the U.S., thanks to Kelsey and the FDA, thalidomide never made it to market and just 17 American children were born with thalidomide-induced phocomelia.

However, the FDA no longer protects us -- the public. They have become an arm of the pharmaceutical industry and do their bidding exclusively. They facilitate the victimization that is the psychiatric "diagnosis" and drugging of 20% of US school children and 50-75% of those in foster care. Should The MOTHERS Act be passed by the Senate, it will guarantee that more mothers-to-be, their unborn, still-developing, babies, and more nursing mothers and their nursing infants, will join the ranks of the psychiatrically drugged.

About the authors:

**Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD, Neurologist, Child Neurologist, was Director of the March of Dimes, Birth Defects Clinic of Western Michigan, 1967-1975. He has discovered and described real diseases, including chromosomal abnormalities due to thalidomide (Benda, C. E., Baughman, F. A., Jr.: Chromosomes and Thalidomide Med. Welt. 1963;34:161-66) He is author of the book: THE ADHD FRAUD -- How Psychiatry Makes "Patients" of Normal Children

*Amy Philo was prescribed Zoloft in 2004 to treat anxiety, following her newborn son's life-threatening choking incident. Zoloft caused her to become homicidal and suicidal, which persisted until she discontinued the drug five months later against medical advice. Amy is now a volunteer health activist and mother of two boys.

SOURCE Fred A. Baughman Jr.
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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