Psychiatric Hospitals in the Soviet Union and Russia: Political Abuse of Psychiatry in the Soviet Union, Serbsky Center

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General Books, Oct 7, 2011 - 24 pages
Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. Pages: 23. Chapters: Political abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union, Serbsky Center. Excerpt: In the Soviet Union, systematic political abuse of psychiatry took place. Political abuse of psychiatry is the misuse of psychiatric diagnosis, detention and treatment for the purposes of obstructing the fundamental human rights of certain groups and individuals in a society. It entails the certification and committal of citizens to psychiatric facilities based upon a political rather than a mental health rationale. Many authors, including psychiatrists, also use the terms "Soviet political psychiatry" or "punitive psychiatry" to refer to this phenomenon. In the book Punitive Medicine by Alexander Podrabinek, the term "punitive medicine," which is identified with "punitive psychiatry," is defined as "a tool in the struggle against dissidents who cannot be punished by legal means." Punitive psychiatry is neither a discrete subject not a psychiatric specialty but, rather, it is a disciplinary function arising within many applied sciences in totalitarian countries where members of a profession may feel themselves compelled to service the diktats of power. Psychiatric confinement of sane people is uniformly considered a particularly pernicious form of repression and Soviet punitive psychiatry was one of the key weapons of both illegal and legal repression. Soviet psychiatric hospitals were used by the authorities as prisons in order to isolate hundreds or thousands of political prisoners from the rest of society, discredit their ideas, and break them physically and mentally. This method was also employed against religious prisoners and most especially against well-educated former atheists who adopted a religion. In such cases their religious faith was determined to be a form of mental illness that needed to be cured. Formerly highly classified e...

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