‘Keith did not go quietly’

Keith Connors died on the 5th July 2017. Shortly before his death he helped write this obituary:

Shortly before his death, I communicated with Leon Eisenberg and had this kind reply:


My concerns about over-medicalisation and harms associated with it go back many years:

As time went by, I could not help but be aware that the marketing of stimulants was extending to adults. An essay of 2013, by Dr Iona Heath, considers some of the context of this:

The British Journal of Psychiatry has continued over this time to have prominent full-page promotional adverts for medications, such as stimulants for ADHD. Occasionally these adverts have appeared on the front cover as a “wrap-around”, such as this one for Strattera “now licensed to treat adults with ADHD”:

In the month before the above advert was circulated to all members of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the following invitation was cascaded to all psychiatrists in my former NHS locale by the Associate Medical Director:

At this time, 2013,  I was part of the social media community. I shared with this community that my Associate Medical Director had cascaded the above sponsored “ADHD Academy” with all staff. I made no comment. I simply posted this as a fact.

Some weeks later I received a letter from the senior manager involved stating that I had been “offensive and unprofessional” and was to be summoned to a hearing with the Medical Director and General Manager of my NHS Board. At this meeting I was told that I should not have mentioned the Associate Medical Director: specifically her name, title or our NHS employers. Transparency, they appeared to be arguing was less important than “respect for a colleague”.

 

 

I share this now, nearly five years on as my experience has demonstrated how difficult it may be to question prevailing authority. One has to have a certain courage to take this on. I have huge respect for both Dr Connors and his mentor Dr Eisenberg for also having the courage to challenge outcomes that they never envisaged.

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