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blog home Medical Malpractice Are We Taking a Step Forward in Treating the Mind?

Are We Taking a Step Forward in Treating the Mind?

By Grant Law Office on October 1, 2019

In September 2019, Johns Hopkins Medicine sent out a press release announcing the launch of its Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research. The premier hospital and research university, founded in 1876 and headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, believes this is the first psychedelic research center in the United States, and the largest center of its kind in the world.

What Are Psychedelic Drugs?

“Psychedelics” are chemical compounds (many of them naturally occurring) that produce profound changes in human consciousness, usually for a temporary period of time. They include “magic mushrooms” or psilocybin, peyote (mescaline), LSD, and DMT, most of which are Schedule I controlled substances. To perform their research, Johns Hopkins received approval from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

What Will the Center Do?

The Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research intends to determine therapeutic uses for psychedelic substances. Researchers will study “how psychedelics affect behavior, brain function, learning and memory, the brain’s biology and mood.” Studies are already planned to review psilocybin’s effect on:

  • opioid addiction
  • post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • chronic Lyme disease
  • anorexia nervosa
  • alcohol use in people with major depression

This Center was made possible by $17 million given in private donations. The staff will include six neuroscientists, experimental psychologists, and physicians; along with five postdoctoral scientists. In addition, they will train graduate and medical students in psychedelic science.

According to the CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine: “Johns Hopkins is deeply committed to exploring innovative treatments for our patients. Our scientists have shown that psychedelics have real potential as medicine, and this new center will help us explore that potential.”

Can Psychiatry Be Malpractice?

However, as personal injury attorneys in Atlanta, while we applaud this new scientific endeavor and any yields made on behalf of treating seriously ill patients, we are cautious. The Johns Hopkins center will ONLY be using healthy volunteers for their research. In the real world, many people with addiction and other brain-related disorders seek psychiatric help. And sometimes, psychiatrists let them down.

Sometimes, it’s a case of psychiatric malpractice.

We have seen these doctors fail to make a proper suicide risk assessment, fail to diagnose or even notice a harmful condition, fail to warn third parties about threats made by disturbed patients, and prescribe improper medication for a patient. For example, we settled a case for a confidential sum on behalf of the family of a 16-year-old boy who was given a drug combination by a psychiatrist that led to respiratory arrest and death. The drugs greatly exceeded the maximum doses recommended by the drug manufacturers for adult patients.

Treating the mind is just as important as treating the body, and Grant Law Office encourages this new psychedelic research. But improper treatment by a mental health professional can be as bad as a surgeon accidentally slicing through a nerve during surgery, and cause lifelong damage. If you believe the psychiatric care you or a loved one received was harmful, whether physically or emotionally, you may have grounds for a lawsuit.

For a free case evaluation with an Atlanta psychiatric malpractice lawyer, call (404) 995-3955 or (866) 249-5513 today.

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*Wayne Grant has been practicing law since 1979. Grant Law Office was founded in 2000.