Robert Whitaker at Vancouver Library: Sept. 23


Psychiatry Under the Influence:
Institutional Corruption, Social Injury and Prescriptions for Reform

Robert Whitaker at the Central Vancouver Library

Wednesday, September 23, 2015     7:00 p.m.
Alice MacKay Room, Central Library
350 West Georgia Street

The award-winning science and medicine journalist Robert Whitaker will discuss how the influence of pharmaceutical money and professional-self interest have misled the public about mental disorders and corrupted our mental health system.  He will explore how this has impacted the expansion of medical diagnoses, biased clinical drug trials and guidelines, and pathologized normal behaviours in children, youth and adults. The result is a deeply challenging ethical, legal and public health issue.  Whitaker will explain how this corruption took place, the social injury it causes, and share resources toward solutions and reform.

This public event will be especially relevant to those working in mental health fields, public policy and law, medical ethics, social work, pharmacology, and public health journalism.  

Robert Whitaker is a Pulitzer Prize finalist for his writing on mental health, past director of publications for Harvard University Medical School and Fellow at the Edmond L. Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University.  Whitaker’s Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America  was given the 2010 Investigative Journalists and Editors Best Book Award.  In a review for Scientific American, science journalist John Horgan called Anatomy of an Epidemic “one of the most consequential works of investigative journalism I’ve read in a long time.  Perhaps ever.”

Psychiatry Under the Influence “is an extraordinary piece of work that should be read by every mental health professional…. Key pharmacological treatment studies are meticulously dissected revealing a 35-year history of outcome research communicated to the medical professions and society generally through…deceptive marketing rather than sound research.  The reader will likely be shocked into a state of utter disbelief from the revelations.
This book has widespread applicability across all mental health disciplines.
Reasonable prescriptions for reform are embedded in a refreshingly positive philosophical view of mankind.”
Prof. Fred Ernst, Dept. of Psychology, University of Texas-Pan American
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