Patient Dies in Clinical Drug Trial: Menninger Clinic Found Negligent by Jury
Dr. Breggin testified concerning standards of care in a residential treatment center and a mental hospital ward. He testified on informed consent and the standards for the conduct of controlled clinical trials. He gave the opinion that the patient did not meet the criteria established for the trial and therefore should not have been included. He testified that the patient was not properly monitored, and that more appropriate treatment was withheld from the patient in order to maintain him in the clinical trial. He testified that the hospitalization and the drug treatment further impaired the patient’s condition. He described the adverse effects of neuroleptic drugs that contributed to the man’s elopement, including worsening depression and akathisia. Akathisia is drug-induced internal agitation and anxiety that drives the person to move about and often to resist treatment.
The jury found the Menninger Clinic negligent and gave an award to the deceased patient’s family. (Kernke v. The Menninger Clinic, U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas, Case No. 00-22630GTV). Attorneys for the plaintiff were Murray Abowitz and Kayce Gisinger, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Stephen G. Dickerson, Kansas City, Kansas.
(2) Peter Breggin, M.D. and David Cohen, Ph.D., Your Drug May Be Your Problem: How and Why to Stop Taking Psychiatric Medication (Perseus Books, 1999) for a more popular, abbreviated discussion of neuroleptic drug effects.