Zantac Lawsuit

Researching drug company and regulatory malfeasance for over 16 years
Humanist, humorist

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Power Up - AC/DC Save The World  


You pretty much know what you're getting when you hear rock legends AC/DC have a new album coming out.

'Power Up', their 17th studio album, has long been in the making, and fans worldwide have eagerly awaited its arrival amidst teasers from the band's Twitter page.

The single, 'Shot in the Dark', lifted off the album, has been available for several weeks. It's a typical Acca Dacca, catchy riff (thank you, Malcolm). The high-pitch vocals, harmony, and solid thud-on-the skins with the familiar short bursts of Angus Young's bluesy influenced lead breaks.

'Realize', their second single, follows the same successful formula. AC/DC doesn't add synths or orchestral versions; it's just straight down the middle, in-your-face rock n' roll.

Forty-two years ago, I first heard 'Rosie' blasted out at my local youth centre disco. Standing on the side of the dance floor, listening to Olivia Newton John, the Bee Gees, and other poppy bands of that era didn't cut it for me. Given I have two left feet when it comes to dancing, no music could get me on the dance floor. That was, of course, until I heard AC/DC. First, it was the right foot tap. Next came the left leg acting as a piston, keeping in time with the drumbeat and rhythm guitar. I joined a posse of guys and gals in a circle shaking their heads and playing air guitars. They knew the licks, and I wanted to know them, too.

A year or so later, armed with a golden ticket (£4), I was at Stafford Bingley Hall for my first concert. What a baptism! Bon Scott belting out songs from Highway to Hell and the back catalogue (which I now had). I went to see them again a few months later at Birmingham Odeon. It was a unique concert, and to my knowledge, the only time AC/DC had strippers dancing on stage to 'The Jack'.

I've since seen AC/DC countless times and appeared in two of their videos, 'Are You Ready' and 'Rock or Bust'. Well, three if I include 'That's the Way I Wanna Rock N' Roll', where I was down the front at Birmingham NEC, armed with a cardboard cut-out of a cherry-red Gibson SG. I was also expelled from school, in part, because of them, but that's another story.

I love this band and their 17th offering. Some highlights include:

'Demon Fire', 'No Man's Land', 'Witch's Spell', 'Systems Down', and the unbelievable 'Through the Mists of Time'.

Brian Johnson and the rest of the band are in top form. Stevie Young is the only man that could ever fill the boots of Uncle Mal; nobody else should ever take that role, ditto Phil Rudd and Cliff Williams.

I once shared a pint with Stevie in a Birmingham bar when he played rhythm guitar for a local band called 'Starfighters' and had previously filled in for Malcolm during the American leg of a world tour.

'Power Up' is available on most media platforms, including Spotify and iTunes and online outlets. Do record stores exist anymore?

It's a welcome break and defiant middle-finger message to the invisible monster that has plagued us all in 2020. 'Power Up' proves that regardless of our age, we are never too old to rock, be it accomplished guitarists or, like me, air guitarists.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

Bob Fiddaman

Thursday, November 05, 2020

Top Psychiatrist Told: "Don't tell patients about side-effects"

An astonishing admission from Wendy Burn (above), the former president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, has emerged on Twitter this past week.

Equally Well UK, an initiative which seeks to promote and support collaborative action to improve physical health among people with a mental illness, recently posted via their Twitter account that Burn, who is now a Clinical Chair of Equally Well UK, has openly admitted that during her training as a psychiatrist she was told not to tell patients about side-effects as it might dissuade them from taking their medication.

I put the following three questions to Equally Well UK:

1. Who trained Burn?

2. At what point in her career did she start to tell patients about side-effects?

3. Why did she decide to tell patients about side-effects?

All three questions went unanswered.

To my utter disbelief some people are praising her for her openness (see thread), in the main, it's other healthcare professionals who have probably never personally experienced horrific withdrawals from the drugs that Burn and other psychiatrists have prescribed over the years. Lest we forget those who have had to prematurely bury loved ones because they wasn't told these drugs could induce suicide. This, I feel, is being, somewhat, glossed over by those who are, seemingly, covering Burn in garlands.

I'll throw in another three questions for those.

4. How many people have died as a result of not being informed about a brain pellet's propensity to induce suicide?

5. How many of those were on Burn's watch?

6. What were the side-effects she was trained to keep away from her patients?

Not giving informed consent because you feel it will deter people from taking medication is no excuse for hurting those you are served to look after.

If Burn was trained to not give informed consent then others would have, no doubt, been trained the same way.

It's unknown whether Burn adhered to what she was taught, if she didn't then one has to ask why she is only raising this issue now given that she has been a psychiatrist for many years.

What's striking, to me at least, is Burn has failed to issue an apology, just as she failed to do so when, in 2018, she, along with colleague, David Baldwin, wrote an opinion piece for The Times, making the outlandish claim that "We know that in the vast majority of patients, any unpleasant symptoms experienced on discontinuing antidepressants have resolved within two weeks of stopping treatment."

She, after a public outcry, has since admitted she was wrong but it came with the caveat that she hadn't personally witnessed severe withdrawal in her own clinical practice. Makes you wonder if she was 'trained' to ignore severe withdrawal given her recent admission to Equally Well UK.

If getting brownie points includes an admission that you've kept hidden dangers, such as withdrawal problems and induced-suicide, away from patients then, surely, farmer Jones deserves points too for adding a 'HIGH VOLTAGE' sign to his electrical fence many years after people touched it and died. 

I despair. 

Bob Fiddaman

Please contact me if you would like a guest post considered for publication on my blog.