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2636 Grand Avenue # 310
San Diego, CA 92109
858. 581. 6205
20 March 2000
Congressman Brian Bilbray
1011 Camino Del Rio South #330
San Diego, CA 92108
Att: Kelly Bingham
Dear Congressman Bilbray,
Thank you for your review of the letter and attachments that I sent you on 28 February 2000 concerning the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institutes of Health's (NIH) unlawful abandonment of its agency responsibility to study the causes and consequences of violence against children and the developmental origins of violence back in the late 1970s, which has had such devastating consequences upon the children and youth of America today.
willingness to meet with me to review this history, as well as the
wrongful termination of my 17-year federal career in science
administration for opposing those unlawful administrative actions and
to take corrective actions is appreciated.
is another report that I have prepared for your review that is titled:
"An American Generation of Suicidal and Homicidal Deaths of Children
and Youth". This report with its accompanying Appendixes of Tables,
Figures with highlights of selected relevant studies, portrays a
greater deleterious picture of the national health of our children and
youth, than that advanced by the public statements of DHHS Secretary
Donna Shalala which are basically wrong.
Dr. Shalala chooses to emphasize the decline in overall crime and
homicide for the general population, a contrary pattern is seen in the
specific age groups of 5-14 and 15 to 24 years of age, where homicide
and suicide are the second and third leading causes of death in the
15-24 year age group and has remained so for over a generation.
deaths have doubled from 1979-1997 in the 5-14 year age group. The
above cited report elaborates upon these facts with an enumeration of
the number of lives of children and youth actually lost for the years
1979, 1994 and 1998, as well as the cumulative number of lives lost
over the five year period from 1994-1998. This number is 1, 580 lives
lost to suicide in 5-14 year olds and 21,910 for 15-24 year olds--a
shocking disgrace for America and this is for just a five-year period.
the ratio of suicides to homicides have systematically increased from
36 % (1979) to 60 % (1994) to 73 % (1998) in the 5-14 year old age
group. Over the past generation, suicidal death has become an
increasingly greater threat to American children and youth, than has
homicide. Suicidal death of children and youth is the greatest
condemnation of any human society for it declares that death is
preferable to living in that society. Other statistical findings
and insights can be found in my report.
above statistics document the massive failures of the NICHD and NIMH of
the NIH over the past generation to understand the nature of suicide
and homicide in these age groups, which prevents them from developing
effective programs of prevention. This conclusion is further supported
by an examination of the 2000 year Reports of the NICHD and NIMH to the
Congress that proposes future plans and programs to prevent child abuse
homicides and suicides, as well as the "The Surgeon General's Call to
Action To Prevent Suicide (1999).
of these reports with plans for future programs even mention the role
of maternal-infant/child bonding and breastfeeding for the prevention
of suicidal and homicidal behaviors and other forms of violence.
Similarly, the failure to recognize how failed maternal-infant/child
bonding and the lack of breastfeeding contributes to abnormal brain
development and behavior is inexplicable. Given the available
scientific data on these issues, this neglect is disgraceful and
represents grossly negligent science and irresponsible scientific
my cross-cultural studies of "primitive" cultures, a single measure of
maternal-infant bonding (carrying of infant on the body of mother
throughout the day for the first year of life), was able to predict
with 80 % accuracy the peaceful and violent nature of 49 primitive
cultures distributed throughout the world. Additionally, 65 % of
cultures that breastfed their infants 2.5 years or longer were
peaceful. These two measures of the mother-infant/child relationship
are powerful predictors of adult peaceful or violent behavior.
nation is now reaping the whirlwind of violence from the NICHD/NIH
actions taken over a generation ago which abandoned the scientific
study of child abuse and neglect; suppressed the scientific
breakthroughs made through NICHD supported research, which documented
that failed mother love results in developmental brain disorders and
depressive and violent behaviors; and have failed to implement national
health policies that would be effective in preventing depression,
violence and drug abuse.
nation must support mothers being nurturing mothers, which includes
breastfeeding for "two years of age and beyond", as recommended by WHO
and UNICEF; and to reverse its national policies of supporting infant
day care. No infant or very young child belongs in institutional day
a member of the "Health and Environment" and "Oversight and
Investigations" subcommittees of the Commerce Committee, I am
requesting that you seek joint subcommittee Congressional Hearings on
this deplorable and tragic history at the NIH, which has betrayed the
children and youth of America; to challenge the scientific integrity of
the NICHD and MIMH future plans and programs to prevent infant and
child abuse homicides and child / youth suicides; and to provide
Congressional mandated programs of research and action that will
prevent child and youth homicides and suicides, specifically
maternal-infant/child bonding and breastfeeding.
I am also requesting that the
Congress reverse the wrongful termination of my 17 year federal career
in science administration with an appropriate, fair and just
compensation for the losses that I and my family have suffered and to
restore my honor and integrity, which was stolen by the unlawful
actions of the NICHD/NIH.
Your assistance in this matter is appreciated.
James W. Prescott, Ph.D.