PAXIL: Catholic Priest Commits Suicide: IN Lawsuit

Paragraph three reads:  “Father Rick Tucker, who took Paxil because he was upset about the way his parish ignored a child abuse scandal, may have committed suicide because of side effects from the drug and not the stress from the cover-up, a federal judge ruled. Judge David H. Hamilton of Indiana’s federal court found that Tucker’s sister Debra could sue GSK over the death of her brother, who shot himself to death in September 2002.”

http://industry.bnet.com/pharma/10007579/glaxo-paxil-and-the-catholic-church-sex-abuse-cover-up-drug-implicated-in-suicide-of-priest/

Glaxo, Paxil and the Catholic Church Sex Abuse Cover-up: Drug Implicated in Suicide of Priest

By Jim Edwards | Apr 7, 2010

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), which was already the focus of controversy over whether it ignored thesuicide risk of its antidepressant Paxil, has found itself linked to the Catholic Church’s cover-up of child abuse in the death of a priest who took the drug.

The case seems bound to become a further PR headache for GSK, which in 2008 was accused of obscuring the suicide risk of Paxil in studies for 15 years.

Father Rick Tucker, who took Paxil because he was upset about the way his parish ignored a child abuse scandal, may have committed suicide because of side effects from the drug and not the stress from the cover-up, a federal judge ruled. Judge David H. Hamilton of Indiana’s federal court found that Tucker’s sister Debra could sue GSK over the death of her brother, who shot himself to death inSeptember 2002.

The Tucker case stems from 1966, when Debra Tucker was 10 years old and attended the St. Lawrence Parish church in the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana. At the same time, Rick attended St. Mary’s Seminary in the same parish. Between 1966 and 1968, Debra was raped two to four times a month by St. Lawrence’s children’s choir instruction, a lay employee of the church, she alleges. In1968, Tucker had an abortion at the abuser’s behest, and then her family  including Rick, who had no idea what was going on  moved house and the abuse stopped. Debra remained in the area and over the years the abuser painted her house and attended the funerals of both her parents, she alleges.

In July 2000, after Debra discovered that the abuser had also allegedly assaulted his own children, she attended a meeting with Father Tucker, St. Lawrence’s Monsignor Robert Sell and other church officials. She claims that Sell and the church agreed to ensure that the abuser had no further contact with children in the parish and in return she would not sue the church.

After learning that Sell and the church allegedly did nothing about the man, Debra Tucker sued for breach of contract in a separate case not involving GSK.

The parish dragged its feet over the lawsuit, and as Father Tucker waited for word over whether his employers would settle his sister’s case, he became increasingly anxious. He was also worried about an upcoming audit by the diocese because, the judge wrote, he had “advanced himself some monies” and the Church would discover these “irregularities.”

However, his anxieties were misplaced: the audit did not uncover any irregularities in Father Tucker’s bookkeeping, the ruling says. The Tucker family’s lawyer said that the amounts involved were in the $50 range  and thus proof that Father Tucker’s anxiety was a product of the drug and not the situation he was in.

After taking Paxil, Tucker went into a sudden depressive tailspin. His diary for Aug. 30, 2002, just two days after he was prescribed the pill, says:

“Things have gotten behind and I do not know how to catch up. I want to live, but I want out of the pain. I feel like I am in an ocean and I can’t swim to the top for air. . . . I can see no way out of it. I know that if I follow through with the thoughts that come to my mind, there will be people hurt. … Debra I am sorry.”

Father Tucker killed himself on Sept. 18.

Debra Tucker alleges in her complaint against GSK that the company knew as early as 1990 thatPaxil potentially had an increased risk of suicide, and that the company failed to warn patients of the risk of akathisia, psychosis or violent self harm. Akathisia is a profound state of anxiety in which patients, unable to rest, believe they are doomed.

GSK had asked the judge to summarily dismiss the case based because the expert witnesses who testified that Father Tucker’s death was triggered by the Paxil and not the other stresses in his life were inadequate. The judge ruled there was a case to answer.

GSK and Msgr. Sell did not immediately respond to emails and a voicemail requesting comment. I’ve decided not to name the alleged abuser  although his name is published in Debra Tucker’s complaint against the church because I could not reach him for comment.

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My Wife’s Suicide on Lexapro

“She was the most gentle, kind and compassionate woman I have ever met.”

My wife, Bonnie, to whom I was married for 32 loving years, completed suicide on Monday, January 26, 2004. She was severely depressed, on Thursday, January 22, she could not go to work. I stayed home with her and immediately took her to her physician. Her physician placed her on medical leave for a month, and referred her to a psychiatrist who saw her that afternoon. He did a lethality assessment and concluded that Bonnie was not a suicide risk, but was in fact severely depressed. Bonnie was already on Lexapro from her own physician. He elevated her dosage that day, and added Wellbutrin, both of which are on the FDA warning list. He told me what he did, but gave me no warnings of risk of suicide, and in fact told me that the drugs would help her feel better in time.

She began to experience greater anxiety and agitation over the weekend. She began making statements that simply were not rational, such as she was failing all her colleagues, and the children and families she worked with because she was going on medical leave for a month. She was a school social worker who worked with disabled children and their families, and she was quite good at what she did. When I told her that people became ill all the time, and schools and other organizations had the capability of filling in behind an employee that became sick, and it was her job to get well, she would not hear it. I tried to tell her over the weekend she was failing no one, but she just did not seem to comprehend or accept what I was saying.

The psychiatrist told me I could go back to work on Monday. I planned to take her back to see him on Tuesday morning, when she had the follow-up visit scheduled, and she knew I was going to. On Monday, I asked her if she wanted me to stay home with her, and I could go back to work on Wednesday, but she told me she would be all right. We talked on the phone about 10:00 and she said she was fine. I decided to go home at lunch time to check on her and have lunch with her. I arrived at 12:30. Some time between 10:00 and 12:30, she cut herself so violently and viciously that she lost every drop of blood in her body. This was the most gentle, kind and compassionate woman I have ever met. She never spanked our children; she just did not believe in violence. The other FDA symptom besides anxiety and agitation that I have read about is hostility. The violence on herself was incredibly hostile. It is my understanding that most female suicides are by overdose. She had plenty of pills including sleeping pills that she could have overdosed on, but she chose to attack herself. That was so wildly out of character, that I cannot understand it.

She was clearly depressed, and their is a family history of emotional disorder. However, the FDA warnings on antidepressants were an exact description of what happened to Bonnie. I can’t prove and I am not necessarily claiming cause and effect. However, I am posting this with you because I am really beginning to believe that the radical change in antidepressants affected her biochemistry, and contributed to her suicide.

If their is any way, Bonnie’s story can save even one life then I want to help do that.

Thank you for letting me share.

Fred Meservey (Bonnie’s devoted and loving husband)bonfred@nycap.rr.com

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