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Testimony of Neurologist

Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD, May 3, 2000, before the Arkansas House of Representatives, Health Services Subcommittee of the House and Senate Committees on Public Health, Welfare and Labor 

The epidemic of psychiatric drugging has risen from 200,000 in 1970, to 8 to 9 million today, that is, 15 to 20% of all US schoolchildren.

Others will tell you of the dangers of psychiatric medications. You must be told the reasons behind this wholly unnatural, mainly school-based, epidemic.

Since the advent of Medicare, in 1965, the number of physicians in the US has grown 5 times faster than the population, from 150 physicians /100,000 population to 300/100,000! [1] Consequently, today, each physician has half the number of patients they had 35 years ago. But their incomes have stayed the same! To compensate they resort to 'physician-induced need,' that is, to what the Health Care Finance Administration (HCFA) refers to as an increased 'volume' and 'intensity' of prescribing. This, in fact, is the primary cause of the US health care crisis.

In 1948, the erstwhile specialty of 'neuropsychiatry' was divided in two, into 'neurology,' dealing with organic or physical diseases of the brain, and 'psychiatry' dealing with emotional and behavioral problems in normal human beings. Nor was there any dispute as to the division of labor; psychiatrists made no claim that they diagnosed or treated actual brain diseases. Other physicians, finding no organic disease, refer patients to psychiatrists. Psychiatrists do not examine patients.

As the physician glut worsened, and competition intensified, psychiatry [2] cast its lot with the pharmaceutical industry [3] By the late 1960's psychiatric drugs were 'big' business,’ growing ‘bigger.’ By 1970 psychiatry and the pharmaceutical industry had agreed upon a joint marketplace strategy: they would call psychiatric disorders, that is, all things emotional and behavioral, 'brain diseases' and would claim that each and every one was due to a 'chemical imbalance' of the brain [4]. Further, they would launch a propaganda campaign, so intense and persistent that the public would soon believe in nothing but pills--'chemical balancers' for 'chemical imbalances' [5].

Just as the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is the primary author of the psychiatric disorder-as-a-disease, deception, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is their prototypical, most-successful-by-far, invented disease. They regularly revise it's diagnostic criteria, not for any scientific purpose, but to cast a wider marketplace ‘net.’ In collusion with Ciba-Geigy (now Novartis), Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorders (CHADD), and the US Department of Education they proclaim ADHD a ‘disease’ so real and terrible that the parent who dares not to believe in it, or allow it's treatment, is likely to be deemed negligent, and no longer deserving of custody of their child.

On April 15, 1998, I wrote to Attorney General Janet Reno charging that the representation of ADHD as a disease, the children as abnormal, and the psychiatric drugging of the millions of schoolchildren said to have it, was the greatest health care fraud of the century.

In May 13, 1998, F. Xavier Castellanos of the NIMH wrote me: "I agree we have not yet met the burden of demonstrating the specific pathophysiology that we believe underlies this condition."

Addressing the November 16-18, 1998, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Consensus Conference, William Carey of the University of Pennsylvania concluded: "What is now most often described as ADHD in the United States appears to be a set of normal behavioral variations...This discrepancy leaves the validity of the construct (ADHD)in doubt."

Taking note of psychiatry’s regular claims of ‘overdiagnosis’ and ‘misdiagnosis, my own testimony to the Consensus Conference--wholly without rebuttal--was that "ADHD is a total, 100% fraud."

In the press conference that followed, National Public Radio correspondent, Joe Palca addressed the Panel: "What you're telling us is that ADHD is like the Supreme Court's definition of pornography, 'You know it when you see it.'"

The latest word on ADHD as a disease comes to us, once again, from F.X. Castellanos. In the January, 2000, Readers Digest, he summarizes: "Incontrovertible evidence is still lacking!" Twenty years and 6 million patients after it’s ‘invention,’ and "incontrovertible evidence is still lacking!"

As if 8-9 million, K-12, on psychiatric drugs were not enough, Zito, et al [6] reported a two- to three-fold rise of psychiatric diagnosing and drugging of normal infants, toddlers and preschoolers between 1990 and 1995. We know these drugs are addictive, dangerous and even deadly. We know that Ritalin and all amphetamines, cause growth retardation, brain atrophy, seizures, psychosis, tics, and Tourette's syndrome. We know that Cylert, yet another stimulant, can kill the liver. We know that Canadian officials, but not those in the US, have banned it.

I have been consulted in 3 cases in which there appear to have been cardiac deaths due to Ritalin/amphetamine treatment for ADHD. Stephanie Hall, 11, of Canton, Ohio, died in her sleep the day she started an increased dose of Ritalin. In March 21, 2000, Matthew Smith, 14, of Clawson, Michigan, fell from his skateboard, moaned, turned blue and died. His myocardium (heart muscle) was diffusely scarred, it’s coronary arteries, diffusely narrowed. Ritalin was, indisputably, the cause of death. Randy Steele, 9, of Bexar, County, Texas, became unresponsive and pulseless while being restrained in a psychiatric facility. His heart was found to be ‘enlarged.’ He had had ADHD and had been on Dexedrine; d-amphetamine. Of the 2,993 adverse reactions to Ritalin, reported to the FDA, from 1990 to 1997, there were 160 deaths and 569 hospitalizations. 126 of these adverse reactions were 'cardiovascular.'

Physicians owe every patient an unbiased risk /benefit assessment.. In medicine, apart from psychiatry, a disease is the primary source of risk. Treatment, be it medical or surgical, is the main source of benefit. However, every medication and every surgical operation is a source of risk. Only if the probability of benefit outweighs those of risk, does an ethical physician advise the patient to proceed with treatment. There are many situations in which patients are better off untreated. Only unethical physicians misrepresent the risks and benefits so as to bias the patient toward treatment that would only be in the best financial interest of the physicians.

Present-day biological psychiatrists speak to one another, the public and to their patients as though the emotional and behavioral pains they suffer were diseases; chemical imbalances, specifically for the purpose of gaining their acceptance of one-dimensional, drug treatment. In every single case, as well as in virtually all of their drug and psychosurgical research, they intentionally violate the informed consent rights of the patient. Quite simply, there is no disease on the risk side of the risk/benefit equation in psychiatry. Instead, there are normal, troubled, pained, educable, remediable, adaptable, human beings--human beings who, if treated appropriately, have the potential to improve, to prevail, and to lead happy, normal, productive lives.

Until such time as the diagnosis of a disease has been objectively confirmed, a physician has no right to proceed with treatment, which is, itself, is source of risk. I would not be justified in starting insulin for diabetes, based only on a suspicion, without confirmatory, elevated, blood sugar levels in hand. I would not be justified in surgically removing a breast based upon the naked eye appearance of a tumor, without microscopic confirmation of the presence of a cancer.

Psychiatrists speak to their patients as though their emotional and behavioral problems were ‘diseases.’ They do so to gain patient acceptance of drug treatment, when this, and this alone, is in the best financial interest of both, psychiatrists, and their pharmaceutical industry partners.

A week ago I got a letter from Frank Heutehaus of Don Mills, Ontario, a father-of -divorce, whose son is on Ritalin. He enclosed the Toronto Sun article on the death of Matthew Smith and in his post-script added. "In regards to my case, I am entertaining the prospect of bringing criminal charges of assault and battery against some of the doctors who claimed my son had a disease that doesn't exist."

Such ‘biological’ psychiatrists, violate the informed consent rights of their every patient. This is medical malpractice on the face of it. There is no scientific, medical or moral justification for their pseudo-biological diagnosing or, for the drugging that invariably follows.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Arkansas State Legislature, follow the lead of Patti Johnson and her courageous colleagues on the Colorado State Board of Education. Banish psychiatry, psychology, psychometrics, diagnostics, and drugging from your schools; they are not the ingredients of an education. Instead, make your schools places of literacy, education, preparation, hopes and dreams, as they were a generation ago. Your children need nothing less. Your state and nation need nothing less.


  1. Baughman, F.A. To Many Doctors, to Little Control. San Diego Union-Tribune, 5/29/96.
  2. Lipius LH. Private practice psychiatrist. Clinical Psychiatric News, 7/99, p. 14
  3. In Bed Together at the Market. Dumont, M.P. Am. J. Orthopsychiat, 60 (4), October 1990.
  4. Federal Involvement in the Use of Behavior Modification Drugs on Grammar School Children of the Right to Privacy Inquiry—Hearing before the Subcommittee of the Committee on Government Operations, House of Representatives, 91st Congress, 2nd Session, September 29, 1970
  5. The Deception of Biopsychiatry (unpublished), Baughman, F.A., 10/3/96.
  6. Zito J, et al. February 23, 2000, Journal of the American Medical Association.

Dr. Baughman’s website is