Wonder Drug on Trial

Once regarded as a miracle cure for depression, Prozac will soon be under attack in a Houston courtroom for causing suicides. The sad case of Skye Morris may determine the fate of the nation’s leading antidepressant.

When the alarm clock went off at seven Saturday morning, Michael Morris wondered why Skye did not reach over and shut it off, the way she usually did. The clock was on his wife’s side of the black-lacquered bed, and as Michael reached over to silence the buzzing he sighed to himself. “Uh-oh. Skye must be really mad,” he thought.

The night before, Michael and his best friend, Eric Miller, had stayed out until three, drinking beer and playing pool at a bar in southwest Houston. Skye, who hated to be left alone, had been uncharacteristically cheerful, sending Michael off with a kiss and an especially long hug. When he got home, she was asleep. Michael feared he had exceeded the limits of her goodwill. He slid his foot across the bed as a peace offering. But when his foot met Skye’s, she did not reciprocate.

Two hours later he awoke again and touched Skye’s shoulder. There was still no response. This time he realized that something was wrong. He sat up in bed and pulled back the covers. Skye’s face was blue. Her hands were clenched. Her pillow was stained with vomit. Wildly, he felt for her pulse. There was none. He bolted into the guest room, where Eric was sleeping, and shrieked, “Eric, get up! I think Skye’s dead!”

Only later did medical technicians and police officers find the suicide note. The note was devoid of emotion, as if it had been written by a calm and detached Japanese geisha. “Dear Michael,” read the note, “please, please keep Miss Clitty and take very good care of her.” Miss Clitty was Skye’s cat. “The little rat loves you,” the note continued. “Just love her, feed her, and bring her a glass of water to bed every night.” She reminded him to pick up his clothes at the cleaners

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