Tuesday, February 13, 2007

British Psychological Society Panned

The British Psychological Society continues to get kicked around the blogosphere. I am, of course, referring to the case of Lisa Blakemore Brown, who dared to take the "wrong" side on a few controversial issues, such as autism and Munchausen's Syndrome. For some background, see here and especially here and here.

The BPS has essentially put Brown on trial to determine if she is fit to practice psychology due to her alleged "paranoia." The funny thing is, when people are really out to get you (as appears to be likely in Brown's case), shouldn't you be afraid? Shouldn't you watch your back?

The BPS refuses to release any transcripts related to Brown's case and also refused to allow an outside witness (whom Brown gave permission to attend) to sit in on the hearings. As stated on the excellent Scientific Misconduct Blog (which has done easily the best reporting on this topic), secrecy is the last refuse of a scoundrel.

The latest: Aubrey Blumsohn has aptly asked why the BPS insists on investigating the Brown case in so much secrecy, yet seems unconcerned with much larger problems. In his latest post, Blumsohn noted that the BPS appears quite uninterested in dealing with issues related to scientific fraud and is likewise uninterested with how a patient group may be influenced by the drug industry.

I can understand that a psychological organization may play hands off regarding medications, as psychologists do not prescribe medications in the vast majority of places. On the other hand, it would seem that issues pertaining to the drug industry are highly relevant to psychologists' clients, as they quite frequently take psychiatric medications. Aren't psychologists supposed to help clients achieve the best possible outcomes? How is it sensible to allocate resources (time and $$$) to the Brown case while ignoring much larger problems? How is the BPS helping the general population by pursuing a dead-end case based on what appears to be shifty evidence at best while ignoring much larger systemic issues such as scientific misconduct and the pernicious influence of the drug industry?

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