After the upheaval of day one in the "Death by Paxil" Sara Carlin inquest, today [June 8] saw Sara's friends take the stand.
The Carlin family, jury and defence, sat and listened as the four witnesses, several from Sara's primary school days when she was just 11 years old.
Each of them spoke about Sara's brilliance in everything she did, how they all knew of her desire to go to medical school.
They all spoke about how Sara loved to have fun and each of them reminisced their years knowing Sara and how it was a joy being around her particularly when she would jump at the chance of performing for them by playing the piano and singing her favourite songs to them.
Her boyfriend spoke about her love of sports, ice hockey, soccer, snowboarding, water skiing and her talent playing golf.
They then spoke of the Sara that changed so drastically after being prescribed Paxil although at the time they did not know she had prescribed the drug and could not understand why she lost interest in everything she loved, deciding to self destruct with alcohol & illicit drugs.
They did not know that these severe changes in character are documented in the Paxil product monograph and occur in perhaps 3-5 in every 100 young people prescribed this drug.
They did not know that their beautiful talented friend was one of these victims of Paxil. They all spoke of how her final destructive act was so unbelievable and how it has forever changed their young lives.
Several of the inquest jurors asked questions of the witnesses which shows that they are listening carefully. Let's hope that they understand that they have a once in a life time opportunity to force important changes in the way Paxil & other SSRI drugs are prescribed to kids – that will ubdoubtably save many future Sara Carlin's.
It is assumed that the defence [GlaxoSmithKline's lawyers, doctor's lawyers and even the coroner counsel, Michael Blain, will concentrate on Sara's spiral of decline, no doubt painting a picture of her as some juvenile delinquent.
It is evident that Sara turned to alcohol and illicit drugs, it is evident that Sara was dealing with anxiety. It is also plainly evident that Sara was a brilliant young teenager whom was deeply in love with her parents and family.
Sara's case bears a striking similarity to that of Sharise Gatchell from the UK.
On the 25th May, 2003, Sharise Gatchell committed suicide. Her parents found her on their return from a weekend trip in Scotland.
Sharise committed suicide on the 25th May 2003. She was just 18 years of age. Sharise, like Sara, had been prescribed the anti-depressant Seroxat, also known as Paxil in the U.S and Canada.
The following was written by the sister of Sharise and can be found on Sharise Gatchell's memorial site here.
I really thought she would become a famous artist.. Sharise had so much talent and energy, Seroxat took that all that away... after only 17 days on Seroxat, she hanged herself from the loft hatch in my parents home...
My mom and dad found her on their return from a weekend trip in Scotland... Sharise knew very well that my parents would not let her go back on Seroxat and so she took it secretly. The first time she was prescribed the drug at the age of 16, she started self harming, cutting her arms, something that had never ever happened before. She was never the same again.
2 years later Sharise felt really down and in desperation went to see a GP. Unwittingly a new doctor prescribed my sister Seroxat again. The previous doctor never bothered to add to the medical records that Seroxat had caused Sharise to self harm, even after my mother made a great deal of effort to make her aware of the issue.
The drugs manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline has finally admitted that Seroxat can cause some people to have suicidal thoughts and tendencies when on the drug.. Thanks for letting us know 2 weeks after her death. Congratulations for raking in billions of pounds while you poison our society with your wicked "treatments" that are now turning out to be less beneficial than a placebo. I wish immense stress and bankruptcy on all of you.
My family and I will spend the rest of our days making people aware of the enormity of your greed, and your selfish disregard for human life... we shall NEVER stop...
Another life lost of a brilliant and beautiful child.
Sara Carlin's demise only came in to play after she was prescribed Paxil.
As a former Paxil addict, I, myself, had a complete change of character when taking Paxil. Paxil numbed me, turned me into a walking zombie who lost touch with those around me. I had little empathy and as a result lost many friends.
Hopefully the jury will see through any rebuttal made by the defence, a defence who cannot argue that Paxil should never have been given to Sara in the first place because of its propensity to cause suicidal thoughts in children and adolescents such as Sara Carlin.
Here we have a young girl who lived her life to the full, who excelled at everything she did, who was a joy to be around. The change in Sara's character only occurred after she was treated with Paxil. Coincidence?
Much has been said down the years about personality change when people are depressed.
Paxil is a loaded gun for children and adolescents, it has been argued that it is a loaded gun for adults too.
The reason why Paxil was prescribed to Sara is because it remained on the market for adolescents of her age. GlaxoSmithKline were forced into admitting some time ago that Paxil was dangerous and could cause suicidal ideation for Sara Carlin's age group, information that they had in their possession for many years.
One has to ask oneself if a depressed child or adolescent would ever be given a loaded gun by any normal, rational human being - indeed if any adult who was suffering depression would ever be given a loaded gun.
One also has to remember that Paxil should only be prescribed to adults who meet the criteria and also remember that when prescribed for mild to moderate [the vast majority of depression diagnosed today] it works no better than a sugar pill [placebo].
Sara Carlin was prescribed Paxil because she felt anxious at going to University!
Sara Carlin is a victim of not only GlaxoSmithKline's reluctance to release their clinical trial findings to the public and healthcare professionals at an earlier date. She is a victim of the limp wristed medicine regulator in Canada whom disregard their duties to protect the public from unsafe drugs. She is a victim of all those whom have spoke so highly of the treatment of Paxil in children and adolescents, ghost writer's and pharmaceutical reps. All in the name of profit. For a manufacturer and medicines regulator to allow doctor's to prescribe a loaded gun to children at their own behest is cowardly. Even more so because the manufacturer had evidence many years before that Paxil could cause children to kill themselves whilst taking their drug. That is unforgivable.
Although today [June 8] was a better day for the Carlin's, I fear that the days ahead will bring more sorrow as the defence blame everything but the medication.
The Oakville Beaver, a local Ontario newspaper, is now reporting on the inquest.
I will update you all on any further information as soon as it becomes available.
In the meantime...
On May 6, 2007, Sara Carlin, a beautiful 18-year-old girl with everything to live for, grabbed a piece of electrical wiring, fashioned a crude noose and hanged herself in the basement of her parents house while under the influence of the antidepressant drug Paxil (Seroxat in the UK). Paxil/Seroxat is an antidepressant documented by international drug regulatory agencies as causing worsening depression and suicide particularly in children and young adults.
Please help inform others of the risks of these drugs. Forward this video to everyone you know.
RIP Sara Alison Carlin
Sara Carlin Inquest – Latest
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Sara Carlin – ‘Death by Paxil’ Inquest – The ‘Expert’
Sara Carlin Inquest – Coroner’s Witness In U-Turn… And That Man Shaffer!
SARA CARLIN Ontario, Canada
Coroner’s Inquest – Glaxo & Friends Vs The Carlin Family
Sara Carlin Inquest – Local MP Slams GlaxoSmithKline
SARA CARLIN PAXIL INQUEST VIDEO FOOTAGE
SARA CARLIN PAXIL INQUEST GLOBAL TV NEWS
SARA CARLIN INQUEST - What The Jury Should Know
ORDER THE PAPERBACK
'THE EVIDENCE, HOWEVER, IS CLEAR...THE SEROXAT SCANDAL' By Bob Fiddaman
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