Posts Tagged ‘forcible medication’


March 10, 2013

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From Behind the ‘Paywall’ of The Times:

August 27, 2012

(I’ll remove it if anyone objects.)

Theodore Dalrymple shows us that there is much scope for sadism in the role of prison doctor and how he himself derived much pleasure from this aspect of his role. I suspect that it was almost as much fun as having patients “injected in the buttock” in his primary role as a consultant psychiatrist at an inner-city general hospital in Birmingham. Note that he and the sycophants who surround him have stopped calling it a slum.

Weak doctors leave prisoners hooked on prescription drugs

Theodore Dalrymple: Former Prison Doctor.

The Chief Inspector of Prisons has reported that abuse of prescription drugs in prisons has increased to an alarming extent. I am surprised only that it took him this long to discover it.

By the time I left the prison service after 15 years, I had formulated a rough-and-ready rule: if a prisoner was willing to take medicine, he didn’t need it; and if he wasn’t willing to take it, he did. There were exceptions, of course; but every prison doctor must remember that medication, especially if it has a psychological effect, is coin of the realm in prison. A pill may change hands many times before it is actually taken.

There are several reasons for over-prescription of drugs in prison. Many prisoners arrive already on prescription drugs they don’t need. A high percentage of doctors have been assaulted or threatened by patients in the past 12 months, an even higher percentage in the areas from which most prisoners are likely to come, so doctors are inclined to prescribe potentially aggressive patients what they demand rather than what they need, which in most cases is nothing.

Doctors in prisons feel obliged to continue these prescriptions, partly because doctors do not like to stop other doctors’ prescriptions without deeper knowledge of the patient, and partly because it is easier. To stop a prescription is to court an unpleasant scene, in which the prisoner will accuse the doctor of negligence or worse, threaten to complain, shout and even menace. Not a few prisoners told me that if I did not prescribe the valium they wanted, they would attack or kill a prisoner or a prison officer.

“Let me give you a word of advice,” I would reply.



They would look in my eye and see that I was not to be moved. Some would laugh, others would be angry with the anger of the justly accused. But it took experience and firmness to resist their blackmail.

Experience and firmness of character were just the qualities the NHS did not seek in its prison doctors when it took over healthcare from the Prison Medical Service. The prescription of codeine and other sought-after drugs shot up without the slightest medical reason.

In the modern world, compassion easily slides into sentimentality and moral cowardice. Doctors like to think that their patients are telling the truth. Prisoners are often not like that; but inexperienced and weak doctors are reluctant to recognise it or be “judgmental”, the worst moral failing in the modern world. And so it is Goldilocks against Genghis Khan.

Face it, Doc, your specialism is about as scientific as witch finding and your methods as sophisticated as the ducking stool.

Addendum: (11.2.2013) In 1994 in an article (an op-ed piece) in The City Journal (an American publication) entitled The Knife Went In  Dalrymple writes: ‘As a doctor who sees patients in a prison once or twice a week, I am fascinated by prisoners’ use of the passive mood and other modes of speech that are supposed to indicate their helplessness. They describe themselves as the marionettes of happenstance.’  Once or twice a week?  Interesting.


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Sylvia Plath was given ECT without anaesthetic shortly before her first nervous breakdown and suicide attempt. Collective guilt, anyone? Think about it people.

Aftermath of Forcible Medication in Verse

February 2, 2010


Glorious Technicolor evaporates
And all is monochrome once again
In my world shades of grey collide
And all colour is banished

(In the dayroom
I press my cheek against
The cool window
The flowers beyond the glass
Are drained of colour too)

And I wonder
Before the medication,
Bursting through my brain and
Taking hold, like some bush fire
Did I really conjure up
Those sacred inner visions
That appeared to me
With so much clarity
All by myself?

My identity has been stripped away
Where am I now?
Are my tears contained
In some sealed vessel in my head?
Where has my inner kaleidoscope gone?
The one that whirled though my mind
The one that dazzled me
When I was an internal traveller
Through the long corridors inside me

Why am I so tightly curled?
Why am I not whirling
In the middle of the dance floor
In that pale cream castle in my head?
I no longer have access to
The coloured box
That contained my dreams
Someone has stolen that
From my inner kingdom too

I was once an angel
Who could soar
Through the sky
But no one sees that now
Instead they see a girl
In a hospital bed
With slit wrists
And junked out eyes
Forcibly caricatured

I am now a sorrowful angel
An angel of blood and dust
I have lost control
And there is a revolution
Raging in my head
The real me is gone
Trapped in a memory cloud

Deep inside my mind
Those voices that populate
My inner cities
The Youths on the streets
Once intrepid and wise,
Now unemployed, homeless,
Chanting down world leaders

They have consigned
Loving Gestures
To forgotten halls
Where my heart
Used to beat

They pump more magic potions
Into me. And the magic bullet
Roars to the centre of my soul
Where my dreams are cultivated.

When Did it All Begin?

January 27, 2010

When did it all begin? When I went crazy for the first time? Or when I decided to stop resisting? When I decided to absorb and implement all the advice the medical profession had to offer?

They made me take their poison. They made me take a drug that is no longer in widespread use: Chlorpromazine (aka: largactil and, in the good old US of A Thorazine) I was made to endure the humiliation of being forcibly medicated. They drag you to your bedspace and close the curtains. Then they push you down onto your bed and four nurses hold you down. One of them kneels on your shoulders. They press you down into the bed. They lift your skirt and then you feel the needle go in and chemicals mingle with blood. An alien substance courses through your veins and there is nothing you can do to stop it. You are in a room on your own. As soon as the nurses have done their work they leave.

No one remains with you to help you make sense of what just happened.

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