Saturday, February 17, 2007


Debate Over Children and Psychiatric Drugs

‘Early on the morning of Dec. 13, police officers responding to a 911 call arrived at a house in Hull, Mass., a seaside town near Boston, and found a 4-year-old girl on the floor of her parents’ bedroom, dead.

She was lying on her side, in a pink diaper, the police said, sprawled across some discarded magazines and a stuffed brown bear.

Last week, prosecutors in Plymouth County charged the parents, Michael and Carolyn Riley, with deliberately poisoning their daughter Rebecca by giving her overdoses of prescription drugs to sedate her.

The police said the girl had been taking a potent cocktail of psychiatric drugs since age 2, when she was given a diagnosis of attention deficit disorder and bipolar disorder, which is characterized by mood swings.

The parents have pleaded not guilty, with their lawyers questioning whether the child should have been prescribed such powerful drugs.’

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