March 13, 2008

The Shame of the British Psychological Society - Last chapter in the Lisa Blakemore Brown saga

A year ago I devoted several postings to the disgraceful and ludicrous abuse of a clinical psychologist, Lisa Blakemore Brown (LBB), by the British Psychological Society (see collated postings including this one). The abuse lasted 10 years, and was apparently motivated by factors other than evidence, logic or concern for patients. It has in my view brought this society into serious disrepute.

The treatment of LBB started as an obvious travesty when a commercially funded patient "support" group and the BPS itself appear to have colluded to create a triggering complaint. What followed was a protracted farce. The BPS seems to have realized that its actions would not be hidden, and the farce was terminated this week. It has left LBB financially destitute, with a destroyed career and ill health.

The abuse of health professionals by professional leadership is a key threat facing the safety of medical practice. Such abuse often takes place simply because these individuals have expressed a view, or because they have raised concerns. Abuse by professional regulatory bodies is particularly troubling.

The BPS has some important questions to answer, and it is not "closed" as they suggest. There are questions about the integrity, motives and honesty of BPS procedures. There are questions about the factors motivating the entirely spurious complaints, and who arranged for their invention. There are serious concerns about the way in which the BPS attempted to abuse one of its members through the misuse of psychology itself, and the way in which the medical profession assisted.

By contrast, professional regulators have remained silent in the face of gross abuses of science, obvious lies, fraud and the deaths of patients -- where these problems involve commercial companies or a network of powerfully connected colleagues. The BPS remains completely silent on the widespread fraud which is increasingly apparent within the pharmaceutical psychiatric literature. The regulatory body governing medicine in the UK (the General Medical Council) has also remained silent, and has refused to entertain a complaint of professional misconduct from patients and families involving the medical leadership of GlaxoSmithKline.

The silence is deafening. Equally worrying is the fact that this abuse stirred scarcely a breath of protest amongst other members of the BPS. Few psychologists troubled themselves to ask the simplest of questions. Such silence is surely a badge of shame for any caring profession.

Lisa Blakemore Brown has now resigned from the BPS

From: Scientific Misconduct Blog

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