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November 19, 2019 by David Healy, MD

Spotlight on the Suicides: The Politicians

This Continues the Spotlight on the Suicides series.  Astonished by the conclusion of Stephen O’Neill’s inquest, I wrote to Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister, copied to the Ministers of Health in Ireland, Simon Harris, in Wales Vaughan Gething, and in England Matt Hancock, along with the Danish MEP, Margrete Auken, the European Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly and Martina Anderson, a Northern Irish MEP.

Michelle O’Neill MLA
Deputy First Minister
Coalisland Sinn Fein Office
Co Tyrone BT71 4LN

Dear Michelle O’Neill

Re: Stephen O’Neill

I testified recently at Stephen O’Neill’s inquest. Concerned about the conclusion, I have since liaised with several lawyers, one of them a coroner, to explore what might be done to prevent an unfortunate inquest compounding an unnecessary death.

The options available to anyone unhappy with an inquest, primarily review whether there has been a breach of legal process.  It is clear to the O’Neill family, and to me, there hasn’t been a breach of legal process, and even a judicial review at this point would be unlikely to contribute to the public safety in the manner the family had hoped for from an inquest.

This leaves the family in a situation resembling that of the relatives of those who died on the recent Boeing 737 Max flights. Had these deaths not been so public, a coroner would likely have concluded they were an unavoidable accident and his/her brief was just to record a death by plane crash. This verdict would have been supported on judicial review.

I am writing to you because there have been thousands of deaths like Stephen O’Neill’s and almost certainly will be thousands more – hundreds of Boeings – and, if a decent coroner like Mr McGurgan cannot see a way to make a difference, no-one will do anything to forestall these further deaths. The situation calls for a political rather than a judicial response.

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September 16, 2015 by David Healy, MD

Some background on the Paxil story: What you should know, what you can do about it

DavidHealyphoto11I am delighted to report to you that a decade-long effort to restore scientific integrity through data based medicine has received a major boost.

Today, BMJ published Restoring Study 329, a reanalysis and rebuttal of the original Study 329 published in 2001 in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Using the same data as the original study (obtained through an arduous process), an intrepid band of researchers came to exactly the opposite conclusion, namely that, “Neither paroxetine nor high-dose imipramine demonstrated efficacy for major depression in adolescents, and there was an increase in harms with both drugs.”

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March 30, 2015 by David Healy, MD

Winging it: Antidepressants and Plane Crashes

The crash last week of the Germanwings plane has shocked many.  In view of the apparent mental health record of the co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, questions have been asked about the screening policies of airlines.  The focus has generally been on the conditions pilots may have or the arguments they might be having with partners or other situational factors that might make them unstable.

Even when the issue of the medication a pilot may be taking is raised, as an article by Erica Goode in the New York Times makes clear it is in the context of policies that permit pilots to continue on drugs like antidepressants to ensure any underlying conditions are effectively treated.

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March 25, 2014 by David Healy, MD

New eClinic and Guide to Stopping Antidepressants



Since its official launch in October 2012, RxISK has had numerous requests for advice. Many people want to learn whether their symptoms are prescription- or withdrawal-related and to find solutions. Some have even offered to fly across the globe for a consultation.

To address this need, we have created the RxISK eCLINIC, a fee-based online consultation service with our physicians, supported by RxISK data and analysis, that will offer three distinct services:

1. Risk Mitigation Clinic
2. Drug Discontinuation Clinic
3. Medication Optimization Clinic

Click here to learn more about the RxISK eCLINIC.

New guide to stopping antidepressants

I am also pleased to announce that we have posted a final version of the RxISK Guide to Stopping Antidepressants. Thanks to all for your feedback on the guide and please continue to provide input for the next edition.

Thank you for your support.

Your feedback, as always, is greatly appreciated.

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March 3, 2013 by David Healy, MD

Do prescription drugs cause unwanted behavior change?

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