We heard from many readers on our story about preschool kids being recruited for an experiment with drugs to treat bipolar disease. There are many parents who strongly support the idea. Others object, however. Here are some of the comments.
"’First do no harm.’ This is the hypocratic oath that the physician takes when graduating from medical school. I do understand and appreciate the need for research; however, to conduct such research on young, vulnerable, developing brains; I feel that this is treading in dangerous territories. Seroquel is one of the newer anti-psychotic drugs, this drug has a very powerful effect on adults. I cannot begin to imagine what it is going to do to the minds of young children that are going into this study with a previously documented mental illness."
"Had you done just a little more research, you’d find that these medications are commonly prescribed to children with severe mental illness, despite the fact thorough clincial trials have not been completed. I think Biederman’s lab is attempting to evaluate such practice in a very controlled manner, so that we can have more reliable information on the efficacy of such practice. I’ve no doubt that all parents are presented with a full explanation of potential risks via an informed consent process prior to entering their children in to the study. You cite one study on 5 kids, on a different drug, with a different population as evidence for your point of view. That’s a very inadequate argument. This is irresponisible journalism, and you’re misleading the public."
"The use of these drugs on children is unconscionable. There are many other options for helping psychiatrically disabled children besides using these highly potent drugs. I wish more federal research dollars were going into non-drug therapies for kids who need extra support."
"This is irresponsible journalism. I am appalled that it is coming from ABC, a prestigious news channel. I suggest ABC should immediately acknowledge that this report is incomplete and irresponsible in World News and Good Morning America. ABC should ask Dr. Tim Johnson to get all the information and report it within a week out of respect for the parents, Dr. Joseph Biederman, the Hospital and the public. This is the only responsible action. This is not respectful journalism. This is worse than tabloid. I wonder if journalists take the oath to be responsible, honest, respectful and thorough!"
"Kudos to ABC News for exposing this one aspect of the psychiatric fraud being perpetrated on all Americans. Without science, without results, but highly paid, how long before Americans wake up to the scam? This ABC News coverage has helped wake the sleeping giant! Thank you."
"I think you should keep your negative comments to yourself. Bipolar disorder is hereditary and does exist in children from birth. It doesn’t just appear out of the clear blue sky. The appropriate mood stabilizing medication, judiciously prescribed by a reputable child psychiatrist, has literally saved my child’s life."
"Unfortunately, most people have no idea what it’s like to be that parent of a young child with a mood disorder. Putting a child on an anti-psychotic drug is done as a last resort when all else fails.
Most parents struggle with this decision and don’t take it likely."