The family of a young man who carried out a murder-suicide last year will attempt to take separate civil actions against two doctors who prescribed him anti-depressants. The family maintains he did not receive adequate care from these medical professionals.
The family of 22-year-old Shane Clancy believes the anti-depressants he was taking drove him to carry out his crime.
It is understood the Medical Council is investigating a complaint made by the Clancy family about the GPs who prescribed anti-depressants for Shane.
Through their solicitor, the family claimed Shane should not have been prescribed a month's supply of medication from a GP he visited in Bray, Co Wicklow, and that he should have received a better standard of medical care when he attempted to convey to another GP at the same surgery that his tongue had become swollen a few days after taking the medication.
Within days, Shane obtained another prescription for antidepressants in Ashford, Co Wicklow, after he told the second doctor that he had attempted to overdose on anti-depressants the day before.
The Clancy family has complained to the Medical Council that the second GP should not have prescribed more anti-depressants in light of the overdose attempt.
Having received the complaint, the Medical Council is now seeking information from the GPs concerned, it is understood. The council declined to comment.
Regardless of the outcome of this investigation, the Clancy family intends to take civil actions against the GPs in question. The purpose of this legal action is not for monetary gain, the family claims, but to continue to raise awareness over the potential
side effects anti-depressants
can have on those who use them.
At an inquest into Shane's death, Professor David Healy from the University of Cardiff said that in a small number of cases antidepressants could cause people to become potentially homicidal or suicidal. Healy also said he believed the 22-year-old had suffered an adverse reaction to the drug.
He stressed that most people could use the drug safely, but said he had concerns over the safety warnings given with the drug in Ireland.
Shane's mother, Leonie Fennell, has spoken about her belief that her son's depression was made worse and caused him to carry out his crime.
The Trinity College student stabbed Sebastian Creane at his home in Bray before turning the knife on himself on 16 August last year. He also stabbed his former girlfriend Jennifer Hannigan and Creane's older brother Dylan in the attack. Both have recovered.
Clancy had become depressed over the break-up of his relationship with Hannigan a few months earlier.
One week before the incident, Clancy overdosed on anti-depressants in a suicide attempt and was later given another prescription for more. When he carried out his attack he had "toxic to fatal" levels of antidepressants in his system.