www.antipsychiatry.org      (last modified March 17, 2000)

A Proposal for Jenelle's Law
to protect us from brain-damaging neuroleptic drugs


P.O. Box 1253, Topeka, Kansas 66601-1253

March 14, 2000

The Hon. Diana DeGette
1339 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Rep. DeGette:

Thank you for your sponsorship of The Patient Freedom from Restraint Act of 1999, H.R. 1313. Physical restraint immobilizing a person at the wrists, ankles, and neck or chest is a kind of torture psychiatrists too often wrongfully inflict on mental patients. I start to panic when I merely think about it being done to me. Thank you for your concern.

Another perhaps even worse horror psychiatrists inflict on people is permanent brain damage caused by neuroleptic drugs.

I recently met a charming young woman named Jenelle Dorner. Her story so moved me that I wrote an account of how she was damaged by neuroleptic drugs and, with her permission, posted it on the Antipsychiatry Coalition web site that I maintain. I've enclosed a copy of my article, which I titled "Jenelle's Story." Jenelle's story illustrates what psychiatrist Peter Breggin, M.D., said in his book Psychiatric Drugs: Hazards to the Brain: By using drugs that cause brain damage, "Psychiatry has unleashed an epidemic of neurological disease on the world" one which "reaches 1 million to 2 million persons a year" (Springer, 1983, pp. 109 & 108). Jenelle's story illustrates the failure of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to protect Americans from harmful drugs.

I propose the introduction of legislation to create a federal statute that would require the FDA to withdraw its approval of a drug if the drug causes permanent brain damage evidenced by tardive dyskinesia or dementia in more than 2% or 4% or whatever percent of patients and which would give federal district courts power to order the FDA to withdraw approval of a drug if any person files a civil action for the purpose of proving and does prove that the drug meets the statutory criteria for mandatory withdrawal of FDA approval. And I propose that the law be known as "Jenelle's Law."

Please read the attached article and give my proposal careful thought and let me know if you will introduce "Jenelle's Law" for the purpose of stopping the epidemic of harm now being inflicted on millions of Americans by neuroleptic drugs.

Douglas A. Smith

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