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$1.5 Million Award in Autistic Child Tardive Dyskinesia Malpractice
Antipsychotic Drugs Prescribed by Psychiatrist Caused Permanent Disabling Adverse Effect
Tardive dyskinesia describes a group of persistent or permanent movement disorders caused by antipsychotic (neuroleptic)
According to Ithaca, New York psychiatrist Peter R. Breggin, MD, a medical expert in the case, the boy was diagnosed with autism as a child and then started on SSRI antidepressants before the age of seven. He continued to be treated with the antidepressants Zoloft and then Paxil which caused his mental condition and behavior to deteriorate. Dr. Breggin testified in court that these drugs very frequently cause anxiety, depression, aggression, mania and out-of-control behavior in children.
Instead of removing the child from the offending antidepressants, his first psychiatrist started him on Risperdal (risperidone)
In response to the jury verdict, Dr. Breggin stated that psychiatric drugs do much more harm than good in treating autistic children and that he hoped the case would serve as a reminder and an alert that autistic children (like all distressed children) need caring psychological, social and educational interventions, and not psychiatric drugs.
Dr. Breggin is the author of many scientific articles and books. His most recent book is Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal: A Guide for Prescribers, Therapists, Patients and their Families. His website is www.breggin.com.
The Chicago attorney in the case was Francis P. Morrissey. The malpractice case was Angel v. Segal, State of Illinois, In the Circuit Court of Cook Count, Illinois, County Department, Law Division, No. 09 L 3496.
Peter R. Breggin M.D.