Testing NEWS

The erasure of women by nauseating “political correctness”

Published on May 25, 2023

By Peter C Gøtzsche

Read my article here. To a considerable extent, the erasure of women has been caused by the deplorable activism of a small minority of highly vocal and intolerant transgender people who have influenced academic publishing and stifled scientific freedom. The Lancet called women “bodies with vaginas” but did not call men “bodies with penises.” And, as I demonstrate, the activists’ mantra “Trans women are women” can lead to absurdities and dangerous situations for women if we do not preserve our common sense.



Critical Psychiatry Textbook: a new psychiatry is needed

Published on May 17, 2023

By Peter C Gøtzsche

To pave the way for a new psychiatry, I wrote a textbook, Critical Psychiatry Textbook, which you can download for free on my website.

All over the world, a rebellion is underway against traditional, so-called biological psychiatry. The reasons are obvious. The more you treat people with psychiatric drugs, the worse for the patients, and the more people end up on disability pensions because they cannot complete an education or get a job.

Psychiatric drugs cannot cure patients and often make them sicker than they already were.

The criticism comes not only from the patients and their relatives, but also from the psychiatrists themselves. A particularly active group is the Critical Psychiatry Network in the UK, which has around 400 members from all over the world, a few of whom are not psychiatrists. We discuss animatedly by email every day, e.g. different patient stories – in anonymised form of course – and what the best treatment might be. …

Bias in double-blind trials (doctoral thesis)

Published on May 16, 2023

By Peter C Gøtzsche

In 1990, I defended my doctoral thesis at the University of Copenhagen. It was the first time a whole therapeutic area had been scrutinized with statistical methods, including meta-analyses. I had collected all trials that had compared one non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drug with another and demonstrated that the design and analysis of the trials were generally flawed, and that the published results were too good for the sponsoring company to be true.

In 82 of the 196 examined reports (42%), bias in the conclusion or abstract consistently favoured one of the drugs, which was the control drug in only one report and the new drug in the remaining 81 (p =3.4 x 10-23). However, the truth was that none of the drugs was clearly better than any other. 

My findings shocked the examiners to such a degree that they proposed that arthritis drugs was a particularly bias-ridden area, but subsequent results in other research areas have shown that my findings can be generalised to trials of other types of drugs.

My thesis became widely known and was the reason that Sir Iain Chalmers contacted me when it came out and invited me to start the Cochrane Collaboration together with him and about 80 other people in 1993. Now, 33 years later, I still feel it is an important document for the history of medicine. I have therefore made the thesis publicly available.

Serious misinformation about the benefits and harms of the COVID-19 vaccines

Published on May 5, 2023

By Peter C Gøtzsche

It is very difficult to publish anything about the COVID-19 vaccines that goes against the official narrative, which is that these vaccines are highly effective and safe even though both claims are seriously wrong.

Among those that have claimed 100% efficacy of the vaccines are the FDA, Anthony Fauci, the Australian government, Science Magazine, Reuters, CNN, US National Public Radio, The Hill, Sky News, Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson. Fauci and President Joe Biden have both declared in interviews that people cannot get infected if they have been vaccinated, which is 100% efficacy.

The effectiveness of the vaccines is nowhere near 100%. The virus mutates, and effectiveness in practice is much closer to 50% than to 100%, and even a rate as low as 24% after two vaccine doses has been reported. This means the COVID-19 vaccines are poor vaccines.

The claims about safety are also highly misleading. My co-worker Maryanne Demasi and I have so far been unable to publish our systematic review of the serious harms of the COVID-19 vaccines, apart from in predatory journals that have offered rapid publication with no obstacles after they saw we had uploaded our review on a preprint server. The placebo-controlled trials Pfizer and AstraZeneca published in New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet, respectively, were seriously misleading.

In the summer of 2021, I published the book “Vaccines: truth, lies and controversy.” I have now uploaded the section about the COVID-19 vaccines from this book as I believe – like reputable medical journals do – that important information about COVID-19 should be freely available.

Screening for breast cancer with mammography

Published on May 3, 2023

This is the title of a Cochrane review I first published in 2001 and lastly updated in 2013 (1). Because many more deaths have now been published (2,3), I updated the review again on 10 January 2023, and on 6 February, my co-author had independently assessed the new data and agreed with what I had found.

The updated mortality data show even more clearly than before that mammography screening does not save lives, which is the official mantra used for justifying screening. When we analysed invitations to breast screening from seven countries, we found that 19 pamphlets (95%) had suggestive headlines, such as, “Have a screening mammogram, it may save your life.”

Cochrane has become a highly bureaucratic and ineffective organisation, which is why its major funder stripped all the funding to the UK based Cochrane groups from 31 March 2023. It will likely take many months before our updated Cochrane review gets published. I do not find it fair to withhold any longer the information we collected about mortality to women contemplating if they should attend screening. I therefore summarise what we found here.

Two of the three studies with adequate randomisation have been updated with many more deaths. Breast cancer mortality is an unreliable outcome that is biased in favour of screening, mainly because of differential misclassification of cause of death. We therefore need to look at total cancer mortality and total mortality instead.

The trials with adequate randomisation did not find an effect of screening on total cancer mortality, including breast cancer (risk ratio 1.00, 95% confidence interval 0.96 to 1.04). All-cause mortality was not significantly reduced either (risk ratio 1.01, 95% CI 0.99 to 1.04).

As reported earlier, total numbers of lumpectomies and mastectomies were significantly larger in the screened groups (risk ratio 1.31, 95% CI 1.22 to 1.42), as were number of mastectomies (risk ratio 1.20, 95% CI 1.08 to 1.32).

These results – and indeed, many others – can only lead to one logical conclusion: Mammography screening is harmful and should be abandoned, as I have explained earlier.

1 Gøtzsche PC, Jørgensen KJ. Screening for breast cancer with mammography. Cochrane Database Sys Rev 2013;6:CD001877.

2 Miller AB, Wall C, Baines CJ, Sun P, To T, Narod SA. Twenty five year follow-up for breast cancer incidence and mortality of the Canadian National Breast Screening Study: randomised screening trial. BMJ 2014;348:g366.

3 Duffy SW, Vulkan D, Cuckle H, Parmar D, Sheikh S, Smith RA, et al. Effect of mammographic screening from age 40 years on breast cancer mortality (UK Age trial): final results of a randomised, controlled trial. Lancet Oncol 2020;21:1165-72.

Neuroleptics do much more harm than good and should not be used

Published on May 1, 2023

By Peter C Gøtzsche
Professor and Director
Institute for Scientific Freedom

This is the accepted chapter 4 in Psychological Interventions for Psychosis: Towards a Paradigm Shift, edited by Juan Antonio Díaz-Garrido, Raquel Zúñiga, Horus Lafitte and Eric Morris, published in 2023 by Springer. The book is available online at https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-27003-1.

Read the whole book chapter here.

Abstract: The current paradigm in psychiatry is that psychosis should be treated with neuroleptics as first-line therapy. Neuroleptics should not be used at all. Randomised trials have shown that they kill many patients and do not have clinically relevant effects but cause permanent brain damage in most patients treated long-term and prevent them from coming back to a more normal life. If an acutely disturbed patient feels that a drug is needed, benzodiazepines work faster than neuroleptics, are much less toxic, and are also what virtually all patients prefer if asked. Psychiatry seems to be the only area in society where the law is systematically being violated all over the world. We need to respect the patients’ rights and the law, which will also lead to better outcomes.

Systematic violations of the patients’ rights when forced to receive neuroleptics

Published on April 25, 2023

By Peter C Gøtzsche

Lawyer James B Gottstein from Anchorage, author of The Zyprexa papers, has written the most damning report I have ever seen about the systematic violations of the patients’ rights when they are forced to receive neuroleptics against their will. What goes on at the Alaska Psychiatric Institute in Anchorage is truly horrifying. One month ago, a US psychiatrist and I published a report documenting this:

Tasch G, Gøtzsche PC. Systematic violations of patients’ rights and safety: forced medication of a cohort of 30 patients in Alaska. Psychosis 2023; March 28 (online first).

I was one of the experts who contributed to Gottstein’s report. The others were: Faith Myers, author of the 2020 book “Going crazy in Alaska: a history of Alaska’s treatment of psychiatric patients;” Susan Musante, the founding director of Soteria-Alaska, a model proven to be a highly effective alternative to hospitalization for newly diagnosed people; David Cohen, PhD, Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development at UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs; and David Healy, MD, psychiatrist, professor at the McMaster University in Canada, and a leading expert on psychopharmacology.

Here is the summary of Gottstein’s report: …

Personal accounts of patients driven into suicide by a depression pill

Published on April 5, 2023

In 2015, when I launched my first psychiatry book, “Deadly psychiatry and organised denial,” I arranged an international symposium in Copenhagen, “Psychiatric drugs do more harm than good.” The lectures are on YouTube. They are still highly relevant and I particularly recommend people to listen to the personal accounts of patients driven into suicide by a depression pill. The audience listened in stunned silence. When the five women who spoke found out that I was going to have this symposium, they all offered to come and talk, paying for their own expenses, and I found a slot for them in the programme. They wanted to do everything they could to help others avoid losing a child or a spouse because of a depression drug that was prescribed to them which they should never have had. The people who killed themselves because of the horrible harms of these drugs did not suffer from anything that justified the prescription: school anxiety, work-related anxiety, exam-related anxiety, break-up with a girl-friend, and trouble sleeping. These meaningless deaths illustrate how absurdly harmful psychiatry is.

The other lectures were: Robert Whitaker – Our psychiatric drug epidemic, a historical overview; Peter C. Gøtzsche – Why few patients benefit from the drugs and many are harmed by them; Robert Whitaker – ADHD, changing the child instead of the environment; Peter C. Gøtzsche – A psychiatry without forced admission and treatment is a must; Peter Breggin – How to practice psychiatry without drugs; and Peter Breggin – Chronic brain impairment and psychiatric drug withdrawal. See the lectures here.

Complaint about Cochrane editors committing editorial misconduct

Published on March 29, 2023

Open letter to Karla Soares-Weiser
Editor-in-Chief, the Cochrane Collaboration

Complaint about Cochrane editors committing editorial misconduct

Dear Karla,

I hereby complain to you about what I consider editorial misconduct in the Cochrane Common Mental Disorders group. Briefly, while this group imposed ever increasing demands to our protocol about safe withdrawal of depression drugs in patients who wished to come off them, the group at the same time negotiated with another author group on the same issue secretly. The group rejected our protocol two years and four months after we first submitted it while it accepted the other authors’ protocol. They subsequently published a Cochrane review, which is very embarrassing for Cochrane as it is full of marketing messages that are irrelevant for the review and of many misleading statements, as I shall explain. Read full letter.

Systematic violations of patients’ rights and safety: forced medication of a cohort of 30 patients in Alaska

Published on March 28, 2023