Invitation: Working the past: Aboriginal Australia and psychiatry

A Sydney Ideas forum at the University of Sydney, Wednesday 7 March 2018

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have historically been subject to much more misdiagnosis, mistreatment, incarceration and coercion than other Australians in the hands of psychiatric institutions, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals. The ramifications of psychiatry’s sometimes unwitting, indifferent or knowing complicity in past harmful practices and beliefs have been far-reaching. They extend from the health and well-being of the individual patient, to human rights and social justice concerns that prevail in contemporary Australian society.
How do we come to grips with the past, and how do we do so in just ways? What are the responsibilities of psychiatry to ensure a contribution to improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social and emotional health and well-being? What can apology and other forms of recognition achieve? What can we learn from other projects of apology and recognition? These questions will be the basis of our discussion by a panel of distinguished speakers, including Professor Steven Larkin, Professor Alan Rosen, Professor Frank Schneider, Ms Joanne Selfe, and Dr Robyn Shields.

Wednesday 7 March
6 – 7.30pm
Law School Foyer
Level 2 Sydney Law School
Eastern Avenue
The University of Sydney, Camperdown 2006

Free and open to all, with online registration essential. Register online now.

Federal Right-to-Try Legislation — Threatening the FDA’s Public Health Mission

NEJM, 10 January 2018
Authors: Steven Joffe, Holly Fernandez Lynch
“Though popular with the public and supported by politicians from both parties, the legislation has been widely criticized by policy experts. In isolation, its impact would probably be limited, since the bill was substantially hollowed out to secure the necessary votes. Nonetheless, the motivation behind the proposed legislation threatens to weaken the FDA’s ability to pursue its public health mission.”
Find article here.

Makers of Nurofen ran ‘misleading and deceptive’ campaign against Panadol: court

SMH, 11 January 2018
Author: Stephanie Gardiner
“Nurofen is better than paracetamol for common headaches,” declared the advertisements in women’s lifestyle magazines. The Federal Court has found that claim to be misleading and deceptive, after two pharmaceutical giants went head-to-head in a two-year legal battle.”
Find article here.

The Ebola clinical trials: a precedent for research ethics in disasters

Journal of Medical Ethics 2018;44:3-8.
Author: P Calain
“The West African Ebola epidemic has set in motion a collective endeavour to conduct accelerated clinical trials, testing unproven but potentially lifesaving interventions in the course of a major public health crisis. This unprecedented effort was supported by the recommendations of an ad hoc ethics panel convened in August 2014 by the WHO. By considering why and on what conditions the exceptional circumstances of the Ebola epidemic justified the use of unproven interventions, the panel’s recommendations have challenged conventional thinking about therapeutic development and clinical research ethics.”
Find article here.