Dr. Loren Mosher, 1933 – 2004
Tue, 13 Jul 2004
We are deeply saddened by the death of AHRP board member, Loren Mosher, MD, a psychiatrist of integrity who never yielded to the pressures brought to bear by (in his words) “the unholy alliance” of the drug industry and industry-supported organizations– the American Psychiatric Association, and the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill.
Dr. Mosher, former Chief of the Center for Studies of Schizophrenia, National Institute of Mental Health, founder and first editor of “Schizophrenia Bulletin,” advocated for a kinder, gentler treatment model for psychosis, rejecting the coercive methods used by his profession–usually in concert with government policies of control. He encouraged mental health professionals to reject involuntary treatment policies which always resulted in increased use of powerful, psychotropic drugs–a boon to the drug industry and its beneficiaries–“the unholy alliance.”
In the 1970s through the early 1980s, Dr. Mosher and his colleagues founded and operated Soteria house, a residential, community-based treatment for individuals undergoing their first psychotic episode. With minimal use of drugs and no restraints, Soteria-treated individuals showed comparable or superior outcomes to a control group of hospital- and drug-treated individuals. Ttwo-year follow-up outcomes were also superior for the Soteria group. Although Dr. Mosher’s findings are discussed in over 30 publications, his approach received little publicity in the United States.
Soteria has been successfully replicated in several European countries. Indeed, Soteria Berne in Switzerland celebrated in 20th year of operation this year. Today, non-coercive, minimal-drugging family approaches to schizophrenia treatment are flourishing in several Scandinavian countries, in contrast to the United States, where coercive approaches resting on indiscriminate multiple-drug cocktails are the norm – even though such cocktails have never been tested to demonstrate either their safety or efficacy. A succinct description of the saga of Soteria and its institutional neglect is included in Robert Whitaker’s book, Mad in America.
Dr. Mosher challenged the psychiatric profession to provide evidence-based proof that involuntarily prescribed psychotropic drugs improved patients’ quality of life or their recovery outcomes compared to patients who were treated with compassionate, alternative methods. Neither the APA nor the NIMH have ever met his challenge to show proof of their claims.
Dr. Mosher died at the age of 71 this weekend in Berlin after struggling with a liver disease. But his legacy will be preserved–even with a posthumous publication of his new book, “Soteria: Through Madness to Deliverance.”
Board of Directors
Alliance for Human Research Protection
Loren Mosher’s biography: http://www.moshersoteria.com/bio.htm
Loren’s work: http://www.moshersoteria.com/
Info about Soteria: http://www.moshersoteria.com/soteri.htm
Latest results from the Soteria Project: Bola JR, Mosher LR. Treatment of acute psychosis without neuroleptics: two-year outcomes from the Soteria project. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 2003 April; 191(4): 219-229.
Psychology Today article: http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1175/is_5_32/ai_55625499
Letter of resignation from American Psychiatric Association http://adhd-report.com/biopsychiatry/bio_12.html