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Ritalin Deaths


Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD
Neurology & Child Neurology
1303 Hidden Mountain Drive
El Cajon, CA 92019



E. Clarke Ross, D.P.A.,CEO                                           5/27/03                      


8181 Professional Place, Suite 201
Landover MD 20785

Re: Death of Shaina Dunkle, 10 years old.

Dear Mr. Ross (not "doctor", not MD, not DO)

A story appeared in the 5/21/03 Buffalo News, it's title: "Two years after their daughter's death, a couple strives to change how attention-deficit disorder is handled," by Gene Warner, News Staff Reporter.

Writing "how attention-deficit disorder is handled" the author
assumes there is such a neurological disorder/neurobiological disorder/ medical condition/illness/disease or chemical
imbalance of the brain" as ADHD.   

Kelly Patricia O'Meara-who interviewed you-- has just written

[Insight, May 13-26, 2003, p 38]:

"Despite the fact that documents provided on CHADD's Website declare that ADHD not only is a "neurobiological" disorder but also a "neurological" disorder; the bottom line apparently has little to do with science.  As Ross (E. Clarke Ross, CEO, CHADD-you!) states, it" is a matter of belief."  And that is precisely what opponents of the alleged disorder have been saying for years--that psychiatric diagnoses are subjective opinions unallied by science."

Here, with the 7-8 million afflicted, diagnosed and treated, is the CEO of the leading ADHD advocacy group in the world, telling us ADHD "is a matter of belief."   CHADD assumed for itself the duty to articulate the truth and science regarding ADHD, but this is exactly what they have not done.  Instead CHADD has lied to the parents, patients and the public throughout it's existence, since the late 1980's, and has lied, as well, to the Congress and to every state legislature, and the judiciary, stating, in effect, that ADHD is a disorder/disease when, all along, all at CHADD, knew there was never any such proof-that the children labeled and drugged were NORMAL-normal, that is, until the drugging began.

I do not even think it "is a matter of belief" as you claim, Sir.
Health advocacy groups, such as CHADD have medical advisory
boards to tell it's lay-officers-persons such as yourself--what the medical
facts of the matter actually are.  Over the years psychiatric researchers
from the NIMH have manned CHADD's professional advisory board.  What a cozy relationship!  Surely they knew every step of the way there was no proof that ADHD is a disease; no confirming, characteristic abnormality to make it so--and yet one and all, were in collusion to portray to the public, parents, the normal children of the nation, and to all of the law-makers and judiciary of the nation, that ADHD is a real disease, the children abnormal/diseased, when they knew, all along, that the children were entirely normal and had no need or justification for Ritalin or amphetamine treatment or, indeed for any medical treatment whatsoever. 

Thus you, and all at CHADD, especially the physicians of CHADD's committees (these have included, at one time or another: P. Jensen, J. Swanson, J. Biederman, FX Castellanos, T. Wilens, J. Prince, L. Greenhill, and many others) and those holding other executive posts, have purposely deceived one and all in the US and are more responsible than any others for the fraudulent identification of the millions (as high as 8-9 million) of normal children, nationwide, as having a brain disease--ADHD--needing and getting dangerous, addictive, sometimes deadly, drugs for a disease, they knew all along never existed.

And then, Sir, you, speaking for all at CHADD, had the sheer audacity to cite the belatedly revised statement  which you said came from the November, 1998, NIH, ADHD Consensus Conference.

This limp claim, given by you to Ms. O'Meara read: 

"there is evidence supporting the validity of the [ADHD] disorder."

This was not the original "final statement" of the Panel of the Consensus Conference as distributed, in print, at the final session of the Conference, the Press Conference of November 18, 1998

I was there and I have a copy of the first, original, valid, "final statement".

The scientists of CHADD and the NIMH came to the Consensus Conference prepared to claim that the brain scanning literature of 1986-1998 which showed brain atrophy in the ADHD subjects, but not in normal controls, was the needed evidence that ADHD was a brain disease.  However, I exposed, during the conference, that all of the ADHD subject groups had been under long-term Ritalin/amphetamine treatment, and that this, not the never-validated ADHD was the probable cause of the brain atrophy.  This being the case, the conclusion of the Panel in the first (original) of the "final statements" (11/18/98) read:

"...we do not have an independent, valid test for ADHD, and there is no data to indicate that ADHD is due to a brain malfunction. Further research to establish the validity of the disorder continues to be a problem."


This wording occupied the NIH web site until early in 1999 when activist, victimized- mother, Sue Parry, noticed the deletion of the former and addition of the passage you have chosen to site.  We fully understand, now the reason for the alteration.  


"...no data to indicate that ADHD is due to brain malfunction (11/18/98),"

it went to:

"there is evidence supporting the validity of the [ADHD] disorder."  (sometime well after 11/18/98, without citing that evidence, in fact, with no evidence to cite. Dr. Peter S. Jensen, long a guiding force at CHADD, program chair for the Consensus Conference, wrote to Mrs. Parry saying he had no idea where the alteration of the "final statement" could have come from)

And now, according to you, E. Clark Ross, CEO of CHADD, speaking for all at CHADD:

"It really is a matter of belief."

Shaina's story continues:

"Steven and Vicky Dunkle visit their daughter Shaina's grave in Rosehill Cemetery every night. The child died of toxic levels of Desipramine, prescribed to battle Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder."


The point here is that the Desipramine in Shaina's system--throughout her brain and body was her one and only disease.  Given that ADHD is only "a matter of belief," not a disease, she couldn't possibly have died of ADHD; there is no such abnormality/disease to "battle".


As I wrote to Attorney General, Janet Reno, April 15,

"The single, biggest heath care fraud in US history-the representation of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to be an actual disease, and the drugging of millions of entirely normal American children, as "treatment," is spreading like a plague-still.  That ADHD is wholly devoid of validity as a disease, a medical syndrome or, anything biologic or organic, is the pivotal element of the fraud.

Yes, I am happy that the Congress passed HR 1170 prohibiting teachers from coercing schoolchildren to accept such labeling and drugging, but 8-9 million
entirely normal children continue to wear their labels and ingest their
Ritalin and other poisons-which, after all, is what they are when a child,
accidentally or on purpose (as with ADHD) is entirely normal at "diagnosis,"
before "treatment."

This is the "rest of the story" about the death of Shaina Dunkle, and the deaths of Matthew Smith and Stephanie Hall and the 200 who died from Ritalin (methylphenidate), whose deaths were reported to the FDA MedWatch program, a system of voluntary reporting, between 1990 and 2000-the tip of the iceberg.

It is time for CHADD to confess publicly that ADHD is not a disease/abnormality within the child, any child-never has been, never will be, and that no child, anywhere said to have it needs Ritalin or any other medication.

Having failed to get out the truth and science of the matter (that which you claim to be wholly concerned with) all of you at CHADD are responsible for the Shaina Dunkle's death.

Sincerely yours,

Fred A. Baughman, Jr., MD



From a pro Ritalin site....

In the decade before the new millennium, 186 children died from taking Ritalin. That sounds like a large number of children, but is it?

In 1990, 900,000 children received Ritalin. Currently, there are between four and five million children receiving this medication. If you estimate about 20 deaths a year from Ritalin, then the risk of your child dying from taking Ritalin is somewhere between 1 in 45,000 and 1 in 250,000. This means statistically, for every 45,000 children who take Ritalin 1 will die and 44,999 will survive. This does not mean that the children won't have any of the other ill effects. It just means that death will not be one of them.

If you are like most parents, you don't like the idea of your child taking stimulant medication for ADHD. However, one thing that should not worry you is that you child will be the one child in 45,000 who has a fatal reaction to the medication. You should be far more worried about the risk of not treating your child.