Monday, March 26, 2007

Say What???

OK, I'm not one to care about celebrity gossip and that's not the point of this post. I just saw this on CNN and it just struck me how far we still have to go about educating the general public about psychiatric issues. It would help if the media at least would get it right.

Here's a quote from the CNN coverage of Anna Nicole Smith's autopsy findings:

His death was ruled an accidental overdose of three antidepressant medications: methadone, Lexapro and Zoloft, according to forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht, who performed a private autopsy at the request of his mother.
Ouch. When did methadone become an antidepressant? And how will P4P reimburse for that?

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Poor Clink,
You are so confused, you quoted the autopsy report of her son (the "he" is a tipoff, but read the article). Apparently the celebrity in question was toxic (?septic) presumably from an abscess and accidental overdose on 3 unnamed antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications, and chloral hydrate contributed to the death. She was possibly injecting growth hormone (huh?) or VitB12.

Family history of Accidental Overdose?

Tragic stuff....

I'll remain anon when talking about people I've never examined...

Bardiac said...

I'm all wrong (because I don't care about the medical part or the scandal the news thinks we're supposed to care about), I know, but the part that stuck out to me says, "according to forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht, who performed a private autopsy at the request of his mother."

There's either something grammatically haywire with referents here, or who the heck is Cyril Wecht's mother, and how does she request an autopsy of Smith? Can just anyone request an autopsy of anyone? (It looks like the official guy was a Joshua Perper; so who's Cyril Wecht?)

Bardiac said...

Oops, I take it back! See anonymous above--the "his mother" isn't Wecht's mother, but Smith as mother of her then already dead son.

Roy said...

Dr Wecht is an infamous medical examiner who somehow gets involved with celebrity deaths (JFK's was one of the first that he became known for getting involved in).

Dr Perper is the medical examiner who did the autopsy on Ms Smith.

Both have become well-known pathologists related to some of the high-profile cases they've been involved in. It's funny, but I've met both of them when I worked in Pittsburgh doing brain research.

Sorry about the podcasts... other priorities have taken over... but they will resume soon...

BTW, we are doing Grand Rounds for May 1, so crank up them blogs.

Midwife with a Knife said...

I thought that Dr. Pepper was a slightly odd yet tasty drink....

Dr Dork said...

Bad reporting by CNN.

I had this link from a news server.

Autopsy.

I'm embarrassed to be aware of this, but this celebrity health tripe is hard to avoid even as one who loathes commercial TV.

ClinkShrink said...

Yes, it was a quote from an article about Anna Nicole Smith's autopsy talking about her son's death. But still, methadone as an antidepressant??

Parked said...

Accidental overdose? That's a lot of meds coursing through anyone's blood stream. Add a Martini and infection from shooting growth hormones and Marilyn Monroe as your idol and you have the basic recipe for system shutdown. I think after the death of her son that this was her plan.

Gerbil said...

I suppose methadone could be considered an antidepressant given how emotionally dysregulating heroin withdrawal is... ;)