Topic Questions for July Humanist Book Group Discussion

Topic Questions for July book group discussion.

1. What do you think of the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act? This brings up a bigger question, how do you want YOUR tax dollars spent?
2 .Is locking people up better than finding a way for them to live on their own? Also could we discuss what should be done about the homeless?
3. At what point are you willing to take away a person’s right to make decisions about their own body and limit their freedoms? If you disagree with a policy, how does one fight back?
4. Mental Institutions and other detention centers might have a place BUT we need strict rules to prevent abuses? Could we discuss the detention centers where immigrants are being held?
5. Brain vs. Mind—Let’s discuss competitiveness and cooperation.
6. Is efficiency or honesty more important? Let’s discuss the placebo effect also.
7. Were you impressed, perplexed, surprised or outraged about how discoveries were made? One of my big take a ways was how important accurate data is. And how fudging the data causes people to distrust future scientific theories.
8. Did some of these stories make you trust doctors less? Also could we discuss how you feel about being a guinea pig? And when should you sue or organize to lobby and protest?
9. Let’s discuss Prozac, Xanax, Opiods, Pot, Alcohol, etc
10. Who should be allowed to prescribe drugs? What do you think of direct marketing of drugs to the public?
11. How can we be sure our food and water isn’t hurting us? Let’s discuss the regulations of drugs and truth in advertising

Topic Questions Above.

Quotes below.

1. ***Page 250 Individual scientists and universities could strike lucrative deals with industries interested in developing the commercial potential of valuable products developed with tax dollars

2. ***Location: 5,314—page 274 to 275 deinstitutionalization in the 1960s and ’70s led to homelessness, incarceration, and premature death for many. … many people with serious mental disorders often benefit far more from being given their own apartment and/or access to supportive communities, than from being given a script for a new or stronger antipsychotic.
***Location: 266—page 7 of 366 some people were biologically unsuited to handle the pressures of modern life.

3. ***Location: 1,115—page 51 involuntary sterilization of the insane, it was not until the mid-1930s that he finally denounced it publicly. ***Location: 1,160 to 1164—pages 53- 54 In 1933 Germany’s Nazi government would cite the 1927 Buck v. Bell decision in defending its own “Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring.” ….Germany’s sterilization program, in turn, paved the way in 1939—after Germany went to war—for an originally secret decision not to sterilize but to murder thousands of mentally ill and disabled institutionalized persons. ***Location: 1,907—-page 93 Women had become too dominant, people complained; they were resisting their traditional roles, while men were having difficulty asserting their traditional authority. ***Location: 2,370—page 119 Foucault’s argument was that the history of psychiatry was not a story about a medical encounter with the suffering of the mentally ill, but a story of morality and politics pretending to be medical but actually working to discipline and silence the authentic truths of people labeled mad. ***Location: 2,401—page 121 What psychiatry did instead, Szasz said, was to identify persons who behaved in strange, distraught, or unacceptable ways and decide they were sick and therefore in need of its special treatment. ***Location: 2,438—page 122 All agreed, though, that psychiatry regularly labeled innocent people “crazy” in order to deprive them of their liberties; that its treatments often caused more harm than good; and that the so-called mentally ill were generally an oppressed group who had finally begun to assert their right to live unfettered lives. ***Location: 2,590—page 130 The Stonewall Inn riot is generally seen as a key catalyst for the gay liberation movement. ***Location: 3,677-page 187 Patients’ growing fear of side effects associated with this treatment led David Impastato, one of the pioneers of ECT, to recommend in 1957 that hospitalized patients should not be told in advance that they would be getting it.

4. ***Location: 1,545—page 74 former asylum patient and wealthy citizen activist Clifford Beers had originally envisioned a movement focused on reforming the often abusive and underfunded state hospital system and had reached out to Meyer for help. Meyer persuaded Beers to focus instead on reducing the number of people who ended up in such institutions in the first place. ***Location: 1,863—page 91 Only when the staff created small family-style units consisting of children and dedicated caretakers did the situation improve. ***Location: 2,191—page 110 The Shame of the States documented on a state-by-state basis the appalling conditions of the mental hospitals and called for deep reform. ***Location: 2,286—page 113 to 115 In 1963, Congress passed the Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Mental Health Centers Construction Act. …. Fewer than half of the envisioned 1,500 community mental health centers were ever built …Litigation in the 1970s accelerated the process of deinstitutionalization … In 1970 a court declared that patients had a right to adequate treatment ….. Unfortunately, virtually all hospitals lacked sufficient funds to comply, ***Location: 3,445—page 175 In 1986 the psychiatrist E. Fuller Torrey was blunt: “There is now a universal realization that the running down and closing of mental hospitals was a disaster.

5. ***Location: 426—page 14 of 366 the brain anatomists had failed so miserably because they focused on the brain at the expense of the mind. ***Location: 1,017—page 46 of 366 Bleuler finally decided that he could no longer associate himself with a movement that did not tolerate dissent…. Saying “…I find it harmful for science”

6. ***Location: 596—page 23 of 366 [1892] Pierre Janet at this point found a new use for hypnosis: to transform his patients’ “fixed ideas” into sanitized (and fictionalized) “memories” they could live with. ***Location: 622—page 24 of 366 Freud explained, the unconscious mind could not distinguish between fantasy and true events. ***Location: 767—page 33 of 366 Beard suggested to his colleagues, why not integrate “expectation”—a kind of talking cure—into their repertoire of therapies?
***Location: 785—page 34 of 366 The second half of the nineteenth century had seen the rise of a number of Christian “mind cure” movements… ***Location: 796—page 35 of 366 suggestion therapy, hypnosis, affirmation therapy, and more—that were increasingly being shown to influence the body.

7. ***Location: 732—page 30 of 366 The conclusion seemed clear: GPI was a form of syphilis in which the bacteria colonized the brain. ***Location: 940—page 42 of 366 both mind and body—for data from brain tissue and heredity studies, and for the developmental, social and mental facts that could only be gathered from a patient’s life story. ***Location: 1,057—page 48 suppressed evidence that Cotton’s surgeries, far from curing patients, were making virtually all of them worse than before—
***Location: 2,600—page 130 They reminded the psychiatric community of studies conducted by Alfred Kinsey
***Location: 2,686—page 134 one had to start somewhere. In due course, research would reveal the biological correlates of mental illness ***Location: 2,847-page 145 Instead, the drug that first began to shift thinking about the causes of schizophrenia was one that we associate with a very different kind of social history: lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD.
***Location: 2,939—page 150 1953 he and Hoffer experimented with using LSD as a treatment for alcoholism and claimed remarkable results. ***Location: 3,002 to 3008 Pellagra … He became convinced that the disease in humans was caused by a poor starchy diet lacking meat, milk, and vegetables. Few listened, and many, especially in the southern states, were offended by the claim. … Pellagra (and its animal equivalents) resulted from a deficiency of nicotinic acid (niacin, or vitamin B3) …
If one gave large doses of the nutrient (either directly or through an improved diet) to affected animals, they recovered.
***Location: 3,074—page 157 All this work persuaded most physiologists that some chemicals could act to reset or alter physiological functions. ****Page 247 In the 1970’s, psychiatrists had rallied around biology and the medical model as a way of exorcising the specters of psychoanalysis, antipsychiatry and radical social science.

8. ***Location: 1,049-page 48 of 366 By the 1920s, at least two therapeutic efforts thus emerged that involved surgically removing allegedly infected organs from the bodies of schizophrenic patients: teeth, appendixes, ovaries, testes, colons, and more. … ***Location: 1,734—page 85 Huston himself felt the film was confiscated because it challenged (in his words) “the ‘warrior myth’ which said that our American soldiers went to war and came back all the stronger for the experience,
***Location: 2,037—page 100 Thorazin was marketed it initially as a pediatric antiemetic, mixing it with a sweet-tasting syrup to make it more palatable to children. ***Location: 2,536—page 127 when American psychiatrists were asked to independently diagnose the same patient, they tended to agree on the diagnosis only about 30 percent of the time.
***Location: 3,435—page 175 the families of schizophrenic patients finally got mad, got organized, and fought back.
***Page 249 By the late 1980s, a critical mass of clinicians and researchers had aligned their professional interests with the commercial interests of the pharmaceutical industry

9. ***Location: 3,128—page 159 Gandhi was said to have been fond of drinking it. ***Location: 2,100—page 104 to 105 By the end of the 1950s, one in every three prescriptions written in the United States was for meprobamate. In 1957 Scientific American marveled that “more than a billion tablets have been sold, and the monthly total of 50 tons falls far short of the demand.” Why did this happen? There are several likely reasons. For one, meprobamate seemed like the perfect Cold War drug. The 1950s was widely viewed (and even ambivalently celebrated) as an “age of anxiety.” It was also a time of wonder drugs in medicine. Meprobamate was an apparent wonder drug that combated anxiety. What more could one want? …. Was it likely to “make millions of people significantly indifferent to politics— ***Location: 2,984—page 152 Eventually the countercultural embrace of LSD helped put an end to psychiatric research on LSD. ***Location: 4,157—page 213 pressure to prescribe pharmaceuticals not to cure diseases but to enhance lifestyles— ***Location: 4,206—page 215 The drugs remained widely used, but with greater awareness that they did not always work, that they did not work forever, and that taking them was not without risks. ***Location: 4,047—page 207 Teach people resilience and coping strategies, and they will be able to navigate life’s stressors (and society’s inequities) with greater strength and equanimity. ***Location: 4,067—page 207-208 ….The outcome was a stunner: cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) outperformed the standard medication for depression. ….If depression could be so effectively treated simply by changing people’s negative beliefs about themselves, did it still make sense to think of it as resulting from a “chemical imbalance”? For a brief time, a space for uncertainty opened up. Then Prozac arrived

10. ***Page 247 Not surprisingly, the psychiatrists pushed back hard. Prescribing drugs, they said sharply, must remain a privilege granted exclusively to medically trained clinicians as themselves
***page 251 In 1997 the FDA agreed to dramatically relax the rules regulating direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs, which thereafter exploded, increasing from less than $800 million in 1996 to $4.9 billion in in 2007.

11. ***Location: 3,983—page 204 In 1962 the Kefauver-Harris Amendment to the 1938 Pure Food and Drug Act required that all drugs sold to the public demonstrate “substantial evidence” of safety and efficacy. ***Location: 4,355—page 224
lithium remained an ingredient of 7 Up until 1950, when it was removed.


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