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posted by martyb on Sunday September 13 2020, @06:43PM   Printer-friendly
from the time-to-get-psyched? dept.

Judge in Theranos fraud case orders 14-hour psychological test for Holmes:

Holmes and Theranos' former president Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani were charged in June 2018 with nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

[...] According to the court document filed this week[*], Holmes—who is now being tried separately from Balwani—notified the court last December that she plans to submit "expert evidence relating to a mental disease or defect or any other mental condition" that has bearing on the issue of guilt. The expert providing such evidence was named in the document as psychologist Mindy Mechanic, of California State University, Fullerton.

According to Mechanic's faculty website, she focuses on "psychosocial consequences of violence, trauma, and victimization with an emphasis on violence against women and other forms of interpersonal violence." The site also notes that Mechanic "frequently provides expert testimony in complex legal cases involving interpersonal violence."

[...] In response to Holmes' plans to provide mental health evidence, federal prosecutors requested that they should also be able to examine Holmes' mental state and provide their own psychiatric evidence in court as a fair rebuttal.

[...] The judge in the case, US District Judge Edward Davila of the Northern District of California, agreed with the prosecutors. As such, he ordered Holmes to undergo up to 14 hours of psychological testing and psychiatric evaluation by two government-appointed doctors over the course of two consecutive days. Davila also ordered that the government's evaluation of Holmes be recorded on video—over Holmes' objections.

[*] Here is a link to the court document.

Previously:
(2019-07-01) Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes to Face Trial Next Year on Fraud Charges
(2018-09-06) Theranos to Dissolve in a Pool of Blood
(2018-06-17) Elizabeth Holmes Steps Down as Theranos CEO as DoJ Levels Charges
(2018-03-15) Blood Unicorn Fairy Tale: Theranos Founder Charged With Fraud
(2017-12-24) Theranos Given Indirect Lifeline From Softbank
(2016-10-06) Theranos Lays Off 340, Closes Labs and "Wellness Centers"
(2016-08-03) Theranos Introduces New Product to Distract from Scandal
(2014-10-05) LinkedIn's Top 10 Silicon Valley Startups for 'Talent Brand'


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  • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Thursday September 17 2020, @09:03AM (5 children)

    by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Thursday September 17 2020, @09:03AM (#1052118) Homepage
    I think as we understand more about brain chemistry/biochemistry/structure, and it's a huge field that we're really only scratching the surface of currently with plenty more to discover, then treatments can continue to improve. The "just turn that bit of the brain off, and nearby/related bits too as collateral damage" approach of falling back on the multi-billion industry big hammer to solve every problem, as you say, is pretty terrible, and bordering on the non-scientific. I barely consider psychiatry to even be a science - I'd rather put my faith in those at the intersection of biochemistry and psychology instead.
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  • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Thursday September 17 2020, @01:22PM (4 children)

    by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Thursday September 17 2020, @01:22PM (#1052157) Journal

    Social workers achieve better long term outcomes than psychiatrists or neuroleptic drugs.

    The "you have a brain chemistry problem " lie has been debunked repeatedly since 2017. Then again, it started life as a marketing supposition, and no testing was ever done in Siri to confirm it, so it's become like a massive conspiracy theory).

    Take schizophrenia, for example. It's not genetic - the twins study that claimed it was never released the data, but other researchers were able to independently track down enough subjects to determine that the study distorted the facts to fit the theory, and independent studies show that childhood abuse explainedit better than any "brain chemistry" story.

    Depression - drugs more than double the suicide rate. Instead of treating the depression, treat the causes , which are social, economic, or health related, and the depression goes away.

    But it always made more sense to treat the underlying causes than to treat the symptoms - it's just cheaper to write a prescription than to get social workers to engage in long term help.

    Same as it's easier to overfund police to deal with the symptoms caused by poor schools and poverty and hate than to stop crime by increasing funding to schools and social workers to and to create alternatives for people before they get into crime in the first place. Because police don't prevent crime. Sarah Huckabee Sanders was telling a barefaced lie when she said that a woman who is being sexually assaulted want the police there. Absolutely not. We would like the crime prevented, which police can't do, and we'd like the police to stop treating us as hostile suspects. Because most of the time, when you report it, nothing happens . The report is often tossed in the garbage without a file number ; other times there's no follow up, so why bother ?

    Prevention should be our goal for all crimes. And that means helping people be better people.

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    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Friday September 18 2020, @08:23AM (3 children)

      by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Friday September 18 2020, @08:23AM (#1052662) Homepage
      There definitely are brain chemistry problems, and specific drugs certainly can help treatments for many issues, so I wouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

      Similarly, studies have repeatedly shown there's a strong genetic component to schizophrenia. Certainly there's a strong nurture element too, one which reinforces the genetic component, but the figures are clear - the best way of ensuring you're schizophrenic is to have at least one schizophrenic biological parent. I forget which one of the following video that was covered in, but it was one of the earlyish ones:
        Human Behavioral Biology (Robert Sapolsky) 25 lectures
        https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL150326949691B199&disable_polymer=1
      Probably Behavioural Genetics I or II. It's long, but it's w great series, and well worth the slog.

      I agree with the 'depression' comment, mostly as I don't like the common view on what depression is. Like you, I view it as an all-too-common outside-world visible result of what could be a *divers* range of underlying conditions, each of which could have a very different optimal solution. It's like saying "my computer's making a funny noise". The easy solution is to put it in a soundproof enclosure or behind the desk, or to just smack it occasionally or something (smacking used to work for my Sun workstation for as long as I had it, don't laugh). However, that won't solve the problem of the pending hard disk failure, or the CPU burning out after fan failure, or the tin whiskers shorting, RAM needing to be reseated (no joke, again, I used to have exceptional high frequency hearing, and could hear my RAM, and my network card, though all were dominated by the flyback transformer on the monitor which was horrific!), or whatever the actual problem is.
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      • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Friday September 18 2020, @05:44PM (2 children)

        by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Friday September 18 2020, @05:44PM (#1052913) Journal

        The whole brain chemistry causes depression thing has been thoroughly debunked in the last 3 years. Meds cannot cure the underlying causes - at least alcohol can help with the social isolation, but I would not recommend it. Antidepressants cause problems with cognitive functioning, which makes it even harder to deal with the underlying problems that cause depression. Antidepressants are snake oil, which is why drug companies have paid out hundreds of millions in proven damages.

        The genetic basis for schizophrenia was based on a liar's research - the psychiatric equivalent of Wakefield and vaccines.

        Genetics play at most a minor role, but even that is now in doubt.

        Dyslexia is a fraud as well, but a very profitable fraud. Turns out the criteria are so nebulous and the tests are rigged to show a diagnosis even when there's no real evidence. And the "treatment " is the same whether someone has a diagnosis of dyslexia or just ordinary reading difficulties, so the whole thing boils down to well-off people getting better individual schooling for their kids.

        I suspect that most adhd boils down to bad parenting. Same as most people who claim they are "visual learners " suddenly stop the bullshit whining when they're given the choice of just getting on with it or getting fired. Especially when there's no realistic way to "accommodate " their self diagnosis.

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        • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Saturday September 19 2020, @08:57AM (1 child)

          by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Saturday September 19 2020, @08:57AM (#1053373) Homepage
          > The genetic basis for schizophrenia was based on a liar's research - the psychiatric equivalent of Wakefield and vaccines.

          Sapolsky says otherwise. How do your creds trump his? Note, and it's sad that I should have to spell this out, but I reckon you're going to pull some kind of straw man, I'm not saying that there's been no flawed research in the field, I'm just saying that there have been several gold-standard studies that support the claim you oppose. Watch the lectures, perhaps?
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