‘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”:

The above advert was circulated to all members of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and 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 to do this, I had been “offensive and unprofessional”. I was then 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 her 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 it demonstrates 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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