(NaturalNews) The family of a 51-year-old father, teacher, and basketball coach who committed suicide back in 2009 has been awarded $1.5 million in a landmark malpractice case that highlights the incredible dangers associated with antidepressant drugs. As reported by The Post Standard, a Supreme Court jury in New York recently found that Joseph Mazella had been improperly and negligently prescribed a deadly combination of the antidepressant drug Paxil (paroxetine) and the antipsychotic drug Zyprexa (olanzapine) by his physician, Dr. William Beals, which triggered a rapid mental downfall that led to Joseph eventually taking his own life.
Joseph had reportedly already been taking 20-milligram doses of Paxil for over 10 years at the order of Dr. Beals prior to his suicide, who apparently never once met in person with Joseph during that time to assess him and see how the drug was affecting his mental health. According to Joseph's wife Janice, Dr. Beals essentially just filled Joseph's prescriptions from time to time over the phone upon request -- as Joseph would run out of pills, in other words, he would simply call Dr. Beals, who would then fill them from afar without any sort of evaluation or patient visit, which is completely unethical.
Things took a serious turn for the worse; however, when Joseph phoned Dr. Beals on August 9, 2009, to inform him that he was beginning to feel anxious and depressed again, despite his regular regimen with Paxil. Rather than bring Joseph in for an evaluation to properly assess him and make a decision about how to proceed, Dr. Beals, who was reportedly vacationing in Cape Cod at the time, simply doubled Joseph's Paxil dosage to 40 milligrams, and also tacked on the deadly antipsychotic drug Zyprexa, all over the phone. And in less than one month, Joseph, an otherwise cheery, warm, and well-loved man by many, was found dead in his garage by his wife.
"After reviewing extensive records and interviewing Mr. Mazella's wife Janice, I concluded that Dr. Beals was negligent in reportedly prescribing Paxil for 10 years without seeing the patient, in failing to warn the patient and his wife about the serious risks associated with Paxil, in his doubling the Paxil dose and adding Zyprexa by telephone, and then in abandoning the patient during his decline," wrote Dr. Peter Breggin, a psychiatrist and the medical expert for Joseph's family during the trial, in a recent piece for the Huffington Post.
And the jury agreed, assigning full blame for Joseph's death to Dr. Beals, who earlier this year was also charged by the New York state health department for negligently prescribing dangerous psychiatric drugs to many of his other patients as well. Between this and Dr. Beals also being disciplined by the state for personally abusing drugs an alcohol, this corrupt doctor who now has a nationwide reputation for gross negligence earned himself five years of probation from his practice.
"Many years ago, I used to believe that people must be held responsible for their own behavior under all conditions, but my philosophical beliefs were eventually eroded by the mountain of scientific evidence that I developed through my research and clinical experience indicating that psychiatric drugs can indeed drive people to suicide," added Dr. Breggin about this situation.