Law, Liberty, and Psychiatry: An Inquiry Into the Social Uses of Mental Health Practices

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Syracuse University Press, 1963 - Law - 281 pages
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"This present book has two major aims: first, to present a critical inquiry into the current social, and especially legal, uses of psychiatry; second, to offer a reasoned dissent from what I consider the theory and practice of false psychiatric liberalism. Most of the legal and social applications of psychiatry, undertaken in the name of psychiatric liberalism, are actually instances of despotism. To be sure, this type of despotism is based on health values, but it is despotism nonetheless. Why? Because the promoters of mental health do not eschew coercive methods but, on the contrary, eagerly embrace them. Just as in democracy there lurks the danger of tyranny by the majority, so in mental-health legislation there lurks the danger of tyranny by therapy. The book is addressed not only to lawyers, psychiatrists, and social scientists but also to the intelligent layman. Indeed, the last may find it especially useful, for organized psychiatry poses a much graver threat to him than it does to the professionals. Like any knowledge, psychiatric knowledge may be made to serve almost any cause. I shall try to show that today psychiatry in the United States is all too often used to subvert traditional political guarantees of individual liberty"--Preface. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
What Is Mental Illness?
11
Disease or Derogation?
18
Classification in Psychiatry
24
Commitment of the Mentally 111
39
False Commitment
57
Testamentary Capacity
72
Psychiatric Power and Social Action
79
for Freedom
169
The Abridgment of the Constitutional Rights
182
The Case
193
The Case
199
Toward the Therapeutic State
212
Proposals for Reform in the Mental Health Field
223
Summary and Conclusions
237
Epilogue
254

A Critical Survey
91
A GameModel Analysis
109
The Right to Trial
159

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