1996-07-09 - Re: [RANT] Giving Mind Control Drugs to Children

Header Data

From: “Perry E. Metzger” <perry@piermont.com>
To: mpd@netcom.com (Mike Duvos)
Message Hash: a391f29d8827f69be95ccdb1844aa075a10896b017e365dcbe70fa45dbf72350
Message ID: <199607090604.CAA11704@jekyll.piermont.com>
Reply To: <199607090459.VAA24458@netcom14.netcom.com>
UTC Datetime: 1996-07-09 09:49:18 UTC
Raw Date: Tue, 9 Jul 1996 17:49:18 +0800

Raw message

From: "Perry E. Metzger" <perry@piermont.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Jul 1996 17:49:18 +0800
To: mpd@netcom.com (Mike Duvos)
Subject: Re: [RANT] Giving Mind Control Drugs to Children
In-Reply-To: <199607090459.VAA24458@netcom14.netcom.com>
Message-ID: <199607090604.CAA11704@jekyll.piermont.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Mike Duvos writes:
> Similarly while there might very well be some disorder of
> cognition for which amphetamines would be appropriate medication,
> prescribing them on the basis of which 10% of the population
> performs least well in the traditional "cells and bells" school
> environment is not it.

Fine, lets say that you are right, and that some number of children
could use Ritalin. Is it your opinion that Tim May is qualified to
diagnose children who do and don't need it? He appears to be claiming
that he can.

I will note, of course, that your contention about percentages and the
likelyhood that something is a disease doesn't really wash very
well. By your lights, then, heart disease couldn't be a "real" illness
given that a lot more than 10% of the population suffers from it to
one extent or another. Of course, we could simply redefine dying of a
heart attack as "normal" and then we could be done.

Sure, its possible that ADD is grotesquely overdiagnosed. Maybe its
possible that 10% of the population has it and that most of them
barely make it through life. Maybe its something in between. How do
you know? Have you done any studies? Have you even read the scientific

> The fact that some claim to be able to demonstrate ADD by
> "repeatable biological tests" carries no more weight than the
> ability to repeatably demonstrate that a person is short of
> stature by "repeatable tape measure tests."
> There is a difference between giving medication for a verifiable
> organic problem, like insulin for diabetes, or growth hormone for
> a pituitary defect, and giving it to the 10% shortest, or the 10%
> most likely to call their teachers bleep words.

How about giving people with hypertension blood pressure medication? I
mean, they are just "out of the norm", right? I mean, there is a
continuum of blood presures, yes? Why should we give the people at the
top of the spectrum medications, just because high blood pressures are
associated with vascular accidents?

I suppose you don't understand what it might be like for someone to be
unable to do their work no matter how heavy the threat against them if
they don't, and no matter how easy it is. There are people out there
who can't get themselves to pay a phone bill or throw out the
newspapers for months on end -- they just can't get themselves to
dance around into the task no matter how hard they try, no matter how
great the threat (job loss, etc) to them is. Perhaps you would call
such a person "crazy". After all, you reason, YOU never had any
trouble doing any of those things. Maybe they are just complete fakers
-- they just need a kick in the ass, right. Well, fine. Many such
people, given a small dose of Ritalin, miraculously recover from their
"crazyness", or their "faking" or whatever it is. They start paying
their bills, writing the overdue reports at the office, listening in
school, etc. They cease to play incessantly with fidget toys and they
get on with their lives. Maybe you would prefer to "help" them by not
letting them get medication. Maybe its "unnatural". Could you explain
to me, however, how you are making their lives better by not giving
them their meds? I mean, what concretely is better about their lives?

>  > Has it occurred to you that many of the children in
>  > question are happy being medicated, as are many adults? In
>  > any case, who are you to tell other people what's good for
>  > them?
> Again, to return to the height analogy, doctors have to throw
> short parents seeking human growth hormone[...]

You miss the point. You spoke of involuntarily medicated kids. Most of
the kids aren't involuntarily medicated.

> The price of giving the patient (or the patient's parents)
> everything they want is [...] classrooms full of obedient
> citizen-units in Soma-induced trances.

Ritalin does not induce a zombie-like trance, as the numerous people
on this mailing list who take it can tell you.