Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Moronic body of psychologists doubts that it upsets a kid to see animosity between his or her parents

Feminists at work, no doubt. Women are ENTITLED to alienate their children from their father, you see

Child custody determinations in scores of Family Court decisions could be challenged following a ruling debunking parental alienation syndrome, a controversial diagnosis of the effects on a child when one parent denigrates the other. The Psychologists Board of Queensland last month disciplined prominent Brisbane clinical psychologist William Wrigley, saying he had acted unprofessionally in giving evidence about parental alienation syndrome to the court. An investigation found that Dr Wrigley's evidence three years ago, which had led to a mother losing custody of her two children, constituted "professional conduct that demonstrates incompetence or a lack of adequate knowledge, skill, judgment or care".

The Australian understands that Dr Wrigley has identified the syndrome as a factor in other cases to the Family Court. So have psychologists and psychiatrists throughout Australia. The syndrome was diagnosed in 1985 by US clinical psychiatrist Richard Gardner, an advocate of a father's right to custody, even in cases where he had been accused of abuse. He argued that some parents who criticise other parents or step-parents in front of children were guilty of psychological abuse. Dr Gardner's theories remain highly controversial among psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists, who claim they are simplistic or erroneous.

The complaint was lodged by the Brisbane mother who lost custody of her two children in 2005 when Family Court judge Neil Buckley determined, acknowledging the evidence of Dr Wrigley, that she had affected the children with the syndrome. Justice Buckley said Dr Wrigley's reports provided a "comprehensive and balanced assessment" of all relevant issues. "It has to be said that in terms of objectivity, professionalism, fairness and balance, his reports are in stark contrast to those provided by (other professionals)," he said.

The board advised Dr Wrigley on March 3 of its unanimous decision that he had "acted in a way that constituted unsatisfactory conduct" for "referring to an unrecognised syndrome in his reports". "It was inappropriate for the registrant (Dr Wrigley) to either diagnose the children or state there was a likelihood the children could develop parental alienation syndrome, as it is not a recognised syndrome," it said. "To diagnose a patient as suffering from or demonstrating a potential to develop an unrecognised syndrome is contrary to the code of ethics." However, the board advised that details of the disciplinary action not be recorded on the public register because it was "not within the public interest". The board told The Australian it was precluded by law from commenting on the disciplinary action taken against Dr Wrigley.

Family Court Chief Justice Diana Bryant last year posted on the family law court website a "fact sheet" about the syndrome, which said the malady was used in evidence, but warned that it was not accepted as "a psychiatric disease". Chief Justice Bryant's notice cited several cases "where PAS has been rejected or not accepted as a concept". The cited cases, with names excluded, included the controversial matter for which Dr Wrigley was disciplined by the psychologists board.


Apples shown to reduce heart disease, cancer risk (?)

The original report does not seem to be available online anywhere, but no doubt it is more of the antioxidant religion based on epidemiological speculation and self-reports. That it was produced by a "dietician" rather than by an academic does not inspire confidence. Academics are unreliable enough ...

APPLES are a "nutrition powerhouse" and really do keep the doctor away, according to a new health report. The comprehensive review of scientific research published in the past 10 years, has found apples are one of the only foods identified to reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers – two of the biggest causes of death in Australia. Apples are also associated with asthma protection, can reduce the risk of type II diabetes and help with weight loss.

The report also found that apples have the highest antioxidant content of all Australia's popular fruits. The author of The Apple Report, dietitian Shane Landon said yesterday: "Not only does an apple have around 1½ times more antioxidants than a 75g serve of blueberries, it has more than twice the antioxidants of a cup of tea, about three times the antioxidants of an orange and almost eight times the antioxidants of a banana. "We often hear about new foods hitting the supermarket shelves that have had this or that nutrient added to them during processing, but apples are a natural nutrition powerhouse," Mr Landon said.

Australians eat around one apple a week, but if everyone ate just one more serve of fruit or vegetables every day, the Australian Fruit and Vegetable Coalition estimates more than $150 million a year would be saved on healthcare costs for cardiovascular disease alone. "The research is compelling and the health message is simple – we must get back to basics," Mr Landon said. "An apple a day is a very good start."

Meanwhile, breast implants, deodorant and coffee are extremely unlikely to cause cancer, according to a new risk report designed to allay panic that everything can be carcinogenic. The new risk assessment developed by an Australian cancer specialist puts in perspective the risks of contracting the disease from a range of agents, including dental fillings, marijuana and cured meats.

Cigarettes, alcohol, deliberate exposure to sunlight and some relatively rare cancer drugs sit in the highest risk bracket for proven carcinogens, said Professor Bernard Stewart, from the University of NSW and South Eastern Sydney and Illawarra Health. Among the "likely" risks were marijuana, solarium use, eating large quantities of processed meats and living near a waste dump.

The professor all but ruled out risk for a range of other rumoured carcinogens including artificial sweeteners, coffee, deodorant, dental fillings, breast implants and fluoridated water. "No one should seriously lose sleep or change their behaviour in respect of these very, very unlikely things," he said.


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