Psychiatrist #2 on First Do No Harm

What follows are some of the contributions made to social media by Dr Samei Huda the author of “The Medical Model in Mental Health”. The full and necessary context for these contributions can be found on the author’s twitter timeline @SameiHuda where the following is made clear: “views my own & not my employer”.

Dr Huda’s book makes no mention of First Do No Harm [the issues looked at by Baroness Cumberlege in her review on patient safety]. Dr Huda’s book considers the bio-psycho-social model but finds little room to discuss the ‘psycho’ and no room to discuss the ‘social’. I have given this review of his book.

Dr Huda’s book makes no mention of harms related to prescribed psychotropic medications other than a single table with a single mention of the potential for withdrawal symptoms from SSRI antidepressants.

*Please Note: I am a retired NHS Psychiatrist who worked for over quarter of a century for NHS Scotland. Dr Huda is the only doctor that I have ever referred to the GMC.  This referral was one made by a diverse group of individuals both professional and lay. The referral did not seek, in any way, to silence Dr Huda. It was specifically about his professional values in relation to his use of Twitter.

Social media comments by Dr Samei Huda in relation to First Do No Harm:

27 February 2018: [1 in 5 Scots on antidepressants, 1 in 7 in England] “Actually the rise isn’t because people are struggling to get off but because doctors are following the evidence which shows that antidepressants prevent relapse which is common in depression”

13 March 2019: [In relation to the media report of a systematic review into antidepressant withdrawal and what can be devastating consequences] “Maybe it’s just not that newsworthy?”

4 April 2019: “[The] increase in prescriptions [of antidepressants] is due to use in pain, more people seeking treatment and longer duration to prevent relapse as per guidance.”

5 February 2020: [in relation to a letter published in the BJGP by a widow whose husband, a GP, had taken his life by suicide] “Shockingly poor letter from a therapist who seems ignorant of medicine  and tries to blame psych medicines . . .” 

10 May 2020, Dr Samei Huda: “They are neither use nor ornament” [This Tweet by Dr Huda refers to APPG members involved in looking into prescribed drug dependence and withdrawal]

8 October 2019: On the Council for Evidence-Based Medicine [CEP] “This joke organisation. The account has terrible values.”

16 April 2020: “Antipsychotics reduce mortality over all; mortality gap seems to be due to smoking related disease, doctors not recognising and treating physical health problems properly and suicide”

8 September 2018 “It is propaganda. Despite your digging you were unaware of psychiatry not being amongst the most Pharma or other industry influences medical specialty . . . remember it’s a far bigger problem in the rest of medicine and surgery. Maybe you are now informed to take this into account?” Dr Huda seems unaaware of the following.

Richard Smith, former Editor of the BMJ:
“Psychiatry seems to have lost its way… The response should not be to refuse to listen to criticisms… but to listen to and use them as a stimulus to deep examination of current practice.” 

Comments about Dr Samei Huda’s behaviour and language on social media by a range of individuals:

If an organisation such as the RCPsych wishes to aspire to being the arbiter of professionalism, and to assume the position of power that comes with this role, then that organisation and its representatives must be willing to be held publicly accountable when they are perceived to depart from the values they collectively espouse.

In December of 2019  a service user wrote to Hole Ousia “Thank you for your blog and your considered and thoughtful approach. Watching Dr Samei Huda on social media I feel terrified of psychiatry and psychiatrists. A certainty that one view is the right view leads to ideological battles, and such battles use force to win. I think of times I have been vulnerable and terrified in my life and I am very grateful that I had more people like you in it than people like Dr Huda” 

Comments about Dr Samei Huda’s behaviour and language on Twitter by a range of individuals:

“This high profile psychiatrist publicly insults clinicians who stand up for rights.”

“I’m quite shocked by the immaturity of his behaviour.”

“He’s discrediting himself and his profession.”

“Dr Huda somehow tweets 25 hours a day. Someone should do a study.”

“Many will attest to his unprofessional conduct on Twitter. He brings his whole profession into disrepute.”

“Dr Huda’s favourite method, with people he disagrees with, is to demean, belittle and insult them.”

“Dr Huda is one of the most divisive figures on Twitter, he manipulates situations for his own ends, and people fall for it.”

“Why doesn’t President Wendy Burn and the Royal College of Psychiatrists put a stop to this person’s bullying and abusive behaviour?”

“When I was mocked and ridiculed (which you found funny) you talked about antipsychiatrists professionals? What was so funny about someone trivializing what I’m going through?”

“Attacking psychiatric survivors and reform-oriented clinicians on twitter during a pandemic is poor form.”

“Mute, block, ignore: [Dr Huda will do] anything but engage with harmed patients and get real”

“Dr Huda has the full support of his colleagues in psychiatry, on Twitter at least. He causes pain and suffering to patients on Twitter by his behaviour and seems to enjoy it. I fear he must do the same in clinical practice.”

“@SameiHuda time now to all move beyond ‘us and them’ thinking and Be Kind

“Dr Huda never fails to try and score points . . . his spitefulness [during this time of a world-wide pandemic] is astonishing”

“My thoughts are with his poor patients… ”

“You seem to have a lot of time to bully people on Twitter”

“You would hope he treats his patients better than he treats other people on twitter, but I would not bet on it.”

“Dr Huda is always on the defensive and attacking good people”

“Dr Huda, why so angry?”

“Dr Huda is a very angry man and has to take out on patients and professionals alike”

“There are a few professionals on here [Twitter] that are, in all honesty, nasty ”

“An offensive individual who is well known on Twitter for his unprofessional behaviour”

“He is the angry man of Twitter defensive and lashing out at anyone who crosses his path.”

“Having no valid argument in response, you result in personal insults, how mature of you, I hope your patients are reading your twitter feed.”

“[Dr Huda] you are about the first to ridicule others, to throw insults at them and to mock them. In my opinion you are a prime cyber bully”

“Dr Huda is one nasty consultant. Imagine how his patients are treated? God help them if they dare question anything to do with their health”

“Dr Huda’s online conduct is an embarrassment to his profession”

“With each tweet he builds a case against himself.”

“Dr Huda has a long track record of ill-founded attacks on psychologists, many personal and abusive”

“Dr Huda’s baseless and completely fabricated allegation of racism is the most infuriating and unjustified thing I’ve ever encountered on social media”

“The racism allegation was confected, cheap, defamatory, unethical, based on no evidence whatsoever, and followed on from a series of gratuitous insults and misrepresentations.”

“Months ago I contacted the Royal College of Psychiatrists about this. They’re not professional gate keepers or they’d reprimand/suspend membership for social behaviour [that regularly departs from ‘College Core Values’] “

“If the Royal College of Psychiatrists understood the harm, Dr Huda would be disciplined, sanctioned, possibly suspended, and retrained. It’s shameful and makes a complete joke of so called ‘College Values’.”

“It is clear that the Royal College endorses shameful, bullying behaviour, we conclude that they have very low standards of conduct for their members.”

“Please can someone of authority remind Dr Huda of his online conduct & his responsibilities.”

“Dr Huda personally attacks and denigrates almost anyone who disagrees with him. The implication, then, is that his behaviour is considered responsible and acceptable to the psychiatric establishment.”

“How can psychiatry’s gatekeepers turn a blind eye to this college members’ abusive behaviour towards marginalized demographic?”