"All she had to do was say 'no' to them and they would slam her to the floor; someone would place a knee in her back and tie her hands," Serrano said. "There was so much emotional damage I can't even begin to tell you." Jessica's little body bore bruises from forcible injections, she said.
Far from "helping," these drugs created her daughter's severe problems, according to Serrano. She finally got Jessica back, but scars from the ordeal remain. To help inform others of her experiences, Serrano formed an organization, Families Against Abuse, which today has a nationwide membership (www.FamiliesAgainstAbuse.org).
Death of a Patient
When telephoned by Freedom, psychiatrist Pittel refused to answer questions. His colleague, Theodore Lindauer, denied that he had recommended 500 milligrams daily of Thorazine, calling that high a dosage "ridiculous." But after Freedom obtained documentation of Jessica's "Treatment Plan" in which Lindauer authorized up to 500 milligrams daily of Thorazine, he declined to answer additional questions.
In the course of its probe, Freedom learned that Lindauer was disciplined in January 2004 by the New Hampshire State Board of Medicine, following the 1998 death of a patient at a New Hampshire facility at which Lindauer then served as medical director.
According to information received from the board, the man had been admitted to Beech Hill Hospital in Dublin, New Hampshire, with a substance abuse problem. Due to the seriousness of his condition, he was to be monitored every 30 minutes. During a periodic check, the man was found to be "unresponsive." Rushed to another hospital, he was pronounced dead.
Dori Todd Hill of the Board of Medicine told Freedom that Lindauer "was responsible for making sure that the hospital was equipped to handle these emergencies and that patients were properly monitored." In its published findings, the Board of Medicine stated, "Dr. Lindauer is reprimanded and his license to practice in the area of substance abuse is restricted until he has completed 80 hours of continuing medical education in the assessment and treatment of substance abuse."
More trouble looms for Lindauer, as Audrey Serrano told Freedom she intends to add him as a party in the lawsuit she has pending against the Massachusetts Department of Social Services, Hillcrest and others.
EXPERTS DECRY Mental Health Profiteering
The Child Protective Services system has become an object of psychiatric industry greed, say experts who track, expose and seek to eliminate this brand of child abuse. A "gangster racket": that's how New York author and psychologist Seth Farber, Ph.D., describes Child Protective Services. "It's a corrupt system," he says, "with psychiatrists and their behavioral classifications at the heart of it." Outraged by the high doses and multiple prescriptions of psychiatric drugs rampant throughout the CPS system, physicians like Ben Raimer and legislators like Arizona House of Representatives Judiciary Committee Chairman Eddie Farnsworth are speaking out to help curb the abuses.