Generic Paxil Suicide Lawsuit

Citizens Commission on Human Rights Award Recipient (Twice)
Humanist, humorist

Wednesday, May 05, 2010


Following on from yesterday's article regarding Dr. Sarah Myhill who has fallen victim to the General Medical Council [GMC] [Back story here]

As promised here is the entire email as discussed in that article.

[Address Withheld]

25th April 2010

Mr Paul Bridge/Mr N Dickson

Dear Mr Bridge

Re Case against Dr Sarah Myhill – is the GMC colluding with GlaxoSmithKline and the psychiatric profession?

When I originally emailed you on 12th April, to register my complaint against the GMC's latest actions in respect of Dr Sarah Myhill, I stated that it was my firm belief that the interests of Big Pharma probably lie somewhere behind the GMC's persecution of doctors such as Drs Myhill, Hyams and Skinner over recent years.

I made a request under the Freedom of Information Act for information regarding any underlying interests from Big Pharma that may be behind these cases, and received a response from Christina Clancy (Your Ref F10/2905/EH) saying that my request has been forwarded to your FOI Department.

Before Ms Clancy rushes to send me an email „regretting‟ that you cannot release the information to me on this occasion, I thought I would write and let you know that I believe my research in recent days has allowed me to identify the main organisation involved in all this, and what the persecution of Dr Myhill is really about:

I believe that the organisation that most stands to benefit from the persecution of doctors like Myhill, Hyams, Skinner and indeed, Wakefield, is GlaxoSmithKline. Originally known as Wellcome, it merged with Glaxo in 1995 to become Glaxo Wellcome and then again with Smithkline Beecham in 2000, to become GlaxoSmithKline. For reasons that I will explain later in this letter, I believe that this organisation – the fourth biggest pharmaceutical company in the world and manufacturer of a large range of antidepressants – is somehow involved in all these cases.

I believe that members of the school of conventional medicine, looking to get rid of the „competition‟ posed by those who practice environmental medicine, or alternative medicine, are using the legal powers bestowed on the GMC to achieve their aims; and that further, they are using their influence within the Council to do so.

I believe that either unwittingly, or with its full knowledge, the GMC has become embroiled in the row between practitioners of conventional medicine and practitioners of environmental medicine, and is favouring the former over the latter either deliberately or misguidedly. This means that the GMC has contravened its own regulations and has allowed itself to become embroiled in arguments about different medical practices.

I believe that the cases against Drs Myhill, Skinner, Hyams and others constitute a deliberate attempt by those who favour conventional medicine (possibly with the assistance/collusion of GlaxoSmithKline), to modify the „marketplace‟ and make a mockery of Patient Choice by picking off, one by one, those doctors who offer an alternative choice of medical treatment.

The complaint against Dr Myhill’s website

The last time you brought jumped-up charges against Dr Myhill, our investigations revealed that the Expert Witnesses you had chosen to use in the case against her had a vested interest in getting rid of doctors like Sarah Myhill who practice something other than that favoured by some members of the medical „establishment. It was, however, difficult to establish exactly who might be behind such a move.

I suppose, therefore, that ME and CFS sufferers worldwide are probably in some way indebted to the arrogance and vanity of the complainant against Dr Myhill's website on this occasion. Calling himself "Jonas" (you will know his real name), he has posted the following on the "BadScience" Forum, which is owned and run by Dr Ben Goldacre:

Dr Sarah Myhill GMC hearing
by Jonas » Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:20 am
“OK, so I finally bit the bullet and complained (anonymously for reasons that will become clear) to the GMC about uber-quack, Dr Sarah Myhill and to my surprise they have decided to launch a Fitness to Practise investigation. Her response has been quite interesting so I thought I would share it with the Badscience community. It will be interesting to see how the GMC proceed as I believe she has been in the same situation on numerous occasions in the past with similar public campaigns resulting in the GMC dropping charges for undisclosed reasons.

She has a (public) Interim Order Panel (IOP) hearing on 29th April at which she could have her license to practise suspended for 18 months.

My complaint focussed on information listed on her website (judge for yourself) but more specifically the following recommendations:

IV Magnesium for acute chest pain/asthma in primary care

Nutritional supplement advice

Advice re. OCP,_safely!

Advice re. drug therapy for CVD prevention

Vaccination advice

Advice re. Breast cancer diagnosis,_diagnosing

*EDITED to add breast cancer link

On a posting on page two of the same site, "Jonas" goes on to say:

“I actually find this quite funny as the my initial contact with the GMC was just a speculative email to the general enquiries email asking whether it would actually be worth submitting another complaint given the failure of the previous 6 efforts. This was written with some haste during a coffee break and hence contained a few typo’s. Amusingly, after submitting my full complaint the GMC decided to use this email to front the complaint to Myhill *sigh*”. (

I therefore ask the following questions:

1. If "Jonas" is actually behind the complaint against Dr Myhill's website, is it not completely unethical and contrary to English Law and GMC Guidelines for the complainant in a case to go broadcasting the details of it in the public sphere, pre-Hearing/trial? The OJ Simpson case, which degenerated into "Trial by Television" was supposed to have resulted in changes in the law regarding discussion of cases in the public sphere before, or during, the hearing of the cases themselves. I would have thought that "Trial by Online‟ would probably make the GMC's case against Dr Myhill just as invalid.

2. I understand that elsewhere, "Jonas" claims to be a junior doctor working IN AUSTRALIA. If that is the case, why is the GMC prepared to give credence to a complaint registered by a junior doctor in another country, which probably has different laws regarding medical practice anyway and which does not come under the Governance of the GMC?

3. If "Jonas" is registered to the GMC, why is he not facing an investigation himself, for conducting himself in ways that will bring discredit to the medical profession? He shouldn't be discrediting Dr Myhill or any of her colleagues, in the libellous way he has chosen to do online, and neither should other contributors to the BadScience site if any of them are on the GMC Register.

4. Since BadScience is owned and run by Dr Ben Goldacre, surely the GMC should be questioning his ethics in allowing doctors to post such libellous comments on his website? Is this conduct really considered appropriate by the GMC, which is so emphatic that the medical profession should not behave in a manner that will draw the profession into disrepute?

5. Is the complaint against Dr Myhill's website even worth consideration by the GMC, given that their conclusion after the last case against her (also posted on the BadScience site) was as follows:

“21. On 19 June 2006 the GMC case examiners decided to conclude another complaint from Mr J about Dr Myhill's website with advice. The reason for their decision was that it is not the place of the GMC to validate or otherwise comment on alternative medical treatments or make a statement on proper treatment for controversial disorders. The advice given to Dr Myhill was that she should use up to date well balanced material, avoid alarmist statements and avoid linking her views with unproven unlicenced medication which she or her associates sell on their website or by other means. The advice letter is signed by Rachel Syed.”

Ben Goldacre

As a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and a research fellow at The Institute of Psychiatry, it is clear that Dr Goldacre's interests lie in furthering the interests of psychiatry – which, itself, has always had to struggle to be taken as a "serious" branch of medicine. Amongst others, the IOP benefits from funding from Bayer, Bristol Myers Squibb, Hoescht Marion Roussel, Lilly Industries Ltd, SmithKline Beecham and Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Unilever, Novartis, NPS Pharmaceuticals; Wyeth and Zeneca. (

Clearly, Dr Goldacre has enjoyed a very productive relationship with Big Pharma giant, GlaxoSmithKline, who, coincidentally, manufactured the controversial MMR vaccine. In fact, here is a photo of Dr Goldacre, receiving an award from GlaxoSmithKline for an article he wrote on MMR; "Never mind the facts". I understand he also received a cash prize of £2,000. [See Fig 1]

Fig 1 - Ben Goldacre [centre] receiving an award from Dr. Alistair Benbow, GlaxoSmithKline's European Medical Director. [right]

If you are going to accept (and I think you must) that Ben Goldacre has what might be termed an extremely biased attitude in favour of Big Pharma and Psychiatry in general, then I think questions have to be asked about the validity of any complaint registered by anyone connected with him who might share his rather extreme views on the subject of environmental medicine.

The situation becomes even more sinister when one considers that Ben Goldacre gained his Master‟s degree in Philosophy at King‟s College, where I believe he is still partially under the tutelage of Simon Wessely.

On the subject of Simon Wessely, I quote the following from the Phoenix Rising website (http//, although I believe it originates at

“Kings College is the bastion and training ground for The Lobby. It is where Simon Wessely, the premier master of scientific spin, resides, working, mad-professor-like on endless projects to prove that organic environmental illness does not exist, and that anyone who suggests it does is deluded.

The really good thing about Liaison psychiatry is that you can blend all kinds of social issues with lots of mad-cap psychiatric ideas that work well for industry. Liaison psychiatry is a form of psychiatry in which the psychiatrist informs unsuspecting ordinary citizens who report to hospitals with organic illnesses that they are actually mentally ill. This diagnostic ability is particularly acute when the Liaison psychiatrist meets up with anyone who has suffered an environmental illness, a chemical insult, or any industry-related illness.

For some time now, King's College has been deeply involved in the programme of spin designed by industry and the New Labour government. However, as is evident from the involvement of Goldacre there, the relationship between The Lobby, the University and the hospital, is not simple. As well as Wessely's role, ex-Revolutionary Communist Party members have also played a part in bringing vested interests to the college. Together with pseudo-scientific research into mental illness and environmentally caused illness, King's is deeply involved in risk analysis for various controversial environmental factors”.

I believe the above was originally a quote from Martin Walker, who goes on to say elsewhere (

Professor Wessely is the leading chronic fatigue syndrome research academic in Britain, heading the CFS Research Unit at King's College Hospital, now part of Guy's, King's and St. Thomas' School of Medicine (GKT).....

“Wessely has established an unrivalled position as a well-placed government advisor and peer reviewer in almost all the seminal journals. He has been involved with every serious inquiry into ME and CFS over the past decades, and his papers and those of his colleagues, produced in considerable number, dominate the field in any literature review. Wessely's research results and publicly-expressed views have stirred the ire of patient self-help groups. He has stated openly that members of such mutual support groups for ME and CFS are fooling themselves, refusing to face up to the reality that their illness is psychosomatic.

Wessely works in the most prestigious London units involved in psychiatric research. The GKT complex also encompasses the Institute of Psychiatry (IOP). The whole of Wessely's department in the IOP is committed to, and working on, issues relating to the psychiatricaetiology of illness. He is also involved in the King's College”

If SmithKlineBeecham (amongst others, listed earlier) contributes to the funding of the Institute of Psychiatry, and both Dr Ben Goldacre and Professor Wessely are members of that Institute, is it not reasonable to suggest that these two individuals must have some kind of interest in furthering the interests of Big Pharma corporations such as GlaxoSmithKline?

Is it not reasonable to also argue that it is in Wessely's interests, and King's College's interests, to get rid of the "competition" that doctors like Sarah Myhill pose, since King's College London has set up its own Chronic Fatigue Research Unit ( I think it extremely unlikely that environmental medicine will be playing a major role in this "research", and suspect that it will probably receive funding by one or other of the Big Pharma companies, such as GlaxoSmithKline.

GlaxoSmithKline must have an interest in boosting sales, since at the end of 2009, it announced massive job cuts amid concerns that the recession is starting to affect "high-value scientific and technical jobs" (

Since Wessely, Goldacre and presumably this "Jonas" character are all so embroiled in furthering the interests of psychiatry, and in extolling the virtues of conventional medicine, I wonder why the GMC (which proclaims itself "impartial") is taking any complaints they make against environmental medicine seriously at all? Clearly, these people simply hold a different view to that of doctors like Sarah Myhill; the fact that hers is different should not make it acceptable in the GMC‟s eyes for those who disagree with her own approach to persecute her, using the GMC as the means by which to do it.

All of this has relevance to the last case you brought against Dr Sarah Myhill, and the Conflict of Interest inherent in the Myhill, Skinner and Hyams cases at the time. It was pointed out to you then that you were using two key members of the British Thyroid Association as your Expert Witnesses; and that their involvement represented a conflict of interest, since the BTA obviously stood to gain (again) by removal of doctors whose practices constituted "competition".

Professor Tony Weetman – at the time, President of the British Thyroid Association - was the Expert Witness in Dr Skinner's hearing at the GMC and also in Dr Hyam's case.

At the time, Professor Weetman was also a Co-Opted member of the GMC and we argued that this was another reason why he should not be involved in the above cases.

Professor John Lazarus – a past President of the British Thyroid Association - was the Expert Witness used in Dr Myhill's case, and would have appeared at her Hearing if it had gone ahead in February 2008.

Both men were Trustees of the British Thyroid Association.


Professor Weetman was the Wellcome Senior Clinical Research Fellow, Royal Postgraduate Medical School & University of Cambridge, 1985-1989.

Professor Lazarus enjoyed seven years‟ funding from the Wellcome Foundation for a CATS study.

As previously stated, Wellcome merged with Glaxo in 1995 (Glaxo Wellcome) and again with SmithKline Beecham in 2000. Is it perhaps just unfortunate coincidence that the GMC‟s persecution of Dr Myhill commenced in 2001 and has continued ever since?

A quick search on the Internet also shows repeated links between those who took part in the Myhill, Hyams and Skinner Hearings and the organisation that is now known as GlaxoSmithKline. For example, in 2001 (around the time the persecution of our doctors commenced) Professors Lazarus (Senior Member) and Weetman (Honorary Treasurer) were both members of The Association of Physicians in Great Britain and Ireland. In its AGM Minutes for that year, the Association listed among its Ordinary Members one Wellcome Trust Sr Research Fellow; and a Glaxo Wellcome Fellow and Honorary Consultant Endocrinologist (

Then again, Weetman and Wessely worked together on the Education Committee of the GMC as recently as 2007. The paper I have accessed lists them as being part of the team conducting the Quality Assurance of Basic Medical Education assessment conducted at University of East Anglia Medical School in 2006/2007 (

Interestingly, the Chairman of the GMC case against Dr Andrew Wakefield, Dr Kumar, also has shares in GlaxoSmithKline. And tales abound about the levels of cover-ups and "silencing" that have gone on in the case of Andrew Wakefield.

I do appreciate that members of related professions are bound to move in similar circles, and that they are also likely to "bump into" one another on occasion; but it seems to me that some of these people are also very involved in the GMC itself and, if the Council is aware of their involvement in Big Pharma/their biased interests in furthering the cause of "conventional" medicine over alternative treatments, it shouldn't be allowing them to be involved in cases where such involvement might constitute a "conflict of interest".

Looking at the massive list of "coincidences" that my research seems to have revealed, I cannot help but conclude that the persecution of Dr Myhill (and Drs Skinner and Hyams) lies not in any real concerns for public safety or patient well-being, but that it has its roots in furthering the interests of the pro-psychiatric lobby and the financial gain of the Big Pharma companies – GlaxoSmithKline in particular, it seems. It could be argued, I think, that Goldacre, Wessely, "Jonas" and their pals on the BadScience website and at Kings' College have an interest in undermining, discrediting and getting rid of doctors who do not practice the medicine that they themselves approve of. Presumably with an eye on the vast financial input that organisations such as GlaxoSmithKline provide, funding their research and furthering the development of psychiatric drugs.

This probably ties in with the new NICE guidelines, published some time ago now, which favour the advice of the pro-psychiatry lobby and advise GPs to prescribe antidepressants to patients suffering from ME, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and the like. These guidelines were fiercely opposed by many organisations representing the interests of such patients, but I understand that their objections were waived aside.

On its home page, the GMC outlines its four main functions under the Medical Act 1983. These include "dealing firmly and fairly with doctors whose fitness to practise is in doubt". I cannot see how you can legitimately argue that you are "dealing firmly and fairly" with anyone when you so obviously favour the arguments and complaints that are being put forward by supporters of conventional medicine who have a vested interest in ensuring that pharmaceutical companies such as GlaxoSmithKline corner as much of the CFS/ME/fibromyalgia/thyroid markets as possible.

If the GMC is so unbiased, why are you prepared to attach such importance to complaints that you know are coming from these parties? And why do you not use Expert Witnesses from within the environmental field itself to assess whether or not the likes of Dr Myhill are posing any kind of "risk" to patient safety, rather than charging ahead and using witnesses who you know stand to benefit if they can "conclude" that she does?

Under Bolam (Bolam v Friern Hospital Management Committee [1957] WLR 582), Drs Myhill, Hyams and Skinner were all following "established medical practice" and the GMC has again flouted the constraints of its own governance by embroiling itself in what is essentially a row between those who feel that conventional medicine is the only way, and those who believe that there is also a place for alternative methods of treatment.

The GMC also claims on its home page to be "independent of government as the dominant provider of healthcare in the UK; independent of domination by any single group; and be publicly accountable for the discharge of its functions." Whether or not government is involved in this case remains to be seen, but it seems to me that there is a wealth of evidence that contradicts your claim to be independent of any single group.

You also obviously do not feel the need to be "publicly accountable" for any of your actions. Your intended case against Dr Myhill on this occasion has prompted an outcry from her patients and supporters, which I know you are very much aware of and which you have chosen to ignore, just as you did the last time. There is a petition with some 3,000 signatures on its way to you, which I presume you will also ignore. Since the cases against Drs Myhill, Skinner and Hyams a few years ago, you have been in receipt of innumerable letters from various members of your public, asking for an explanation for your actions. These you have also ignored. You have managed to avoid giving any explanation whatsoever for why you followed unsubstantiated complaints brought by doctors, not patients, which in the case of Dr Myhill, turned out to have no foundation in truth whatsoever. You have also refused to explain why you took patients' notes without their knowledge or consent, misusing your powers under the Medical Act to do so and in one case, circulating those notes, un-anonymised, to other parties. I have evidence from the four patients whose notes you took in the last case against Dr Myhill, and one patient whose notes you took in the case against Dr Hyams. So, please don‟t bother to deny that you did it, or attempt to hide behind the Medical Act as justification. As far as I am concerned, you abused the trust those patients rightfully placed in the GMC and also infringed their rights under both the Human Rights Act and the Data Protection Act. In short, I consider that you are guilty of abusing the patients whose interests you are supposed to protect.

It is a patient's legal and inalienable right to be able to choose their healthcare treatment and care, and that right to choose is becoming increasingly enshrined in healthcare law with every passing year. I suggest that the proponents of conventional medicine, in collusion with interested parties from the world of Big Pharma, are getting round "Patient Choice" by actively trying to manipulate the "market"; removing from office, one by one, those who offer alternative healthcare routes and treatments to ME, CFS, fibromyalgia and thyroid problem sufferers. I suggest that the GMC, either knowingly or unknowingly, is being utilised as the most effective tool with which to achieve the aim of limiting patient “choice” by the removal from office of all doctors who do not agree with the tenets of conventional medicine, and whose practice and treatment methods cannot profit the pharmaceutical companies.

If that is the case – and as I say, these are only my own conclusions, having looked into this matter more deeply – then I suspect that the patients who are ultimately on the receiving end of such bias and persecution are going to have a great many questions that they want answering. From the GMC itself, from GlaxoSmithKline, and from those proponents of the Goldacre/Wessely/King's College approach to medicine who seem to be absolutely comfortable with posing a real risk to patient health by pursuing their own ends and those of others who stand to benefit their standing in medical circles or financial benefit of one kind or another. My personal opinion is that if the concerns I have raised in this letter are anywhere near correct, then the parties involved should be investigated by the highest authority; and the GMC's powers revoked immediately for the duration.

I feel very strongly - in light of "Jonas's" revelations online and the very real concerns now circulating among ME/CFS patients that his complaint to you is vested in more than just a genuine concern for patient welfare – that you should drop the current charge against Dr Myhill regarding her website.

With regard to the other charge you are trying to bring against Dr Myhill at the Hearing this week, I understand that a group of doctors have complained to the GMC re her advice about giving a patient injections of magnesium and vitamin B12. This appears to be another unsubstantiated and foundation-less complaint and I suggest that it is withdrawn immediately.

In this latest case against Dr Myhill, you again attempted to breach your own guidelines by giving her just three working days' notice until the date of her original hearing. I note that following protest from Dr Myhill, you have now reset the date for 29th April – this coming Thursday. I am anxious to make my own findings public as soon as possible, so that others may launch their own enquiries/raise their own objections prior to the Hearing itself. However, I also appreciate that in the spirit of "good journalism", I should offer the Council an opportunity to respond to the queries and concerns I have raised in this letter.

I will therefore delay making this letter public (although copies have already been sent to some other parties) until 4pm today (Monday, 26th April). If I do not hear from you by then, I will assume that you do not wish to comment on the matters I have raised in this letter and will therefore state at the bottom of this letter that "The GMC declined to comment".

I therefore hope you will respond by the time I have stipulated.

Yours sincerely


4.10pm, Monday 26th April – no response from the GMC, so I am assuming that they have 'declined’ to comment” and am sending this letter out to interested parties.

Further thoughts for Dr Myhill’s supporters

NONE of the complainants against Dr Myhill in recent years have thought to pick up the phone, or email or write to her, before registering their complaints with the GMC. Why?

Why didn't this "Jonas" use his coffee break to email Dr Myhill with his concerns, rather than penning an email to the GMC Complaints Department?

If the complainants against Dr Myhill had any real interest in resolving their complaints or queries, they would contact Dr Myhill directly, rather than running straight to the GMC every time.

WHY does the GMC repeatedly accept these complaints as being "genuine", and without checking the validity of any of them, rush headlong into an expensive investigation of Dr Myhill?

The GMC's last case against Dr Myhill cost them £49,936.85 – a lot of money to be wasting on unsubstantiated complaints that didn't actually hold water in the end. The figure quoted does NOT include the internal costs to the GMC of running the case against Dr Myhill – just the amount it cost them in fees to their solicitor, Field Fisher Waterhouse.

The GMC claims it has a "duty" to investigate complaints made against doctors. But it cannot be the case that they just take every complaint at face value and rush ahead with expensive investigations. If they did, they'd have been bankrupt years ago! Such a strategy would mean that all of us could just register complaints against any doctor, at any time, willy nilly, and the Council would have no option other than to fully investigate every single one of them. It would be a ridiculous and prohibitively expensive way for the Council to conduct itself. So, why do they take this approach when dealing with complaints against Dr Myhill?

A note re Bolam

In the letter I have written, I quote Bolam (Bolam v Friern Hospital Management Committee [1957] WLR 582), which is very relevant to the arguments in this case surrounding what does, and does not, count as acceptable medical practice. Bolam forms part of Medical Law in the United Kingdom and is the basis on which legal cases on negligence are usually judged. It is relevant to the Myhill case because it allows for the fact that there can be differing bodies of opinion with regard to any medical practice or treatment, and that as long as it can be shown that there are others in the profession who share a particular view, then it is "established medical practice". It is only the peculiarities of the GMC that make it possible for one body of medical opinion to accuse the other of negligence/malpractice simply because they take a different approach. In a court of law, Bolam would prevent such personal vendettas making any headway whatsoever – but the GMC seems to consider itself above the law, doesn't it?

The quote below is from Mason & McCall Smith's Law and Medical Ethics, Seventh Edition (Mason, JK and Laurie, GT, Oxford University Press [Oxford, New York] 2006). I hope readers will find it helpful

“In some circumstances, the existence of two schools of thought may result in more than one option being open to a practitioner. If this is so, then what are the liability implications of choosing a course of action which a responsible body of opinion within the profession may well reject? Precisely this question arose in Bolam, where the plaintiff had suffered fractures as a result of the administration of electro-convulsive therapy without an anaesthetic. At the time, there were two schools of thought on the subject of anaesthesia in such treatment, one holding the view that relaxant drugs should be used, the other being that this only increased the risk. In this case, the judge ruled that a doctor would not be negligent if he acted "in accordance with the practice accepted by a responsible body of medical men skilled in that particular art". Negligence would not be inferred merely because there was a body of opinion which took a contrary view. Subsequent cases confirmed this approach. In Maynard v West Midlands Regional Health Authority ([1985] 1 ER 635, [1984] 1 WLR 634) the trial judge had preferred an alternative medical approach to that which had been chosen by the defendant, notwithstanding the fact that this latter course found support in responsible medical opinion; both the Court of Appeal and the House of Lords confirmed that this was an unsatisfactory way of attributing negligence."

Name Withheld.



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