Monday, January 14, 2013

Lloyd Sederer, psychiatry and violent crime

I'm seriously considering how much time I'm going to spend in my life and on my blog focusing on depressing topics, something I seem to be doing more of lately. January is not a good month for being optimistic, it is true. I tend to get more and more depressed listening to the daily litany of woes called "the news." Perhaps sensing that I was in need of a cathartic experience, my middle son sent me the video of the python clinging for dear life to the wing of a Quantas flight and that cheered me up considerably - until I realized that the poor python died of hypothermia by the time the plane landed. Let's just say its death didn't lift my mood.

But then, along comes RSK, the blogging lawyer behind Refusing Psychiatry (Without Pissing Off the Neighbors). He's almost a breath of fresh air! I can't resist this guy's charm, meaning  his formidable writing and meticulous analytic skills. I've always admired "le mot juste" and this guy's writing them in spades. I've blackened the particularly delicious bits, below.

Lloyd Sederer, psychiatry and violent crime

The forced-drugging crowd think they can make hay with the Sandy Hook shootings. New York's director of Mental Health wrote in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed about what he calls the tragedy of mental health law. . . . .

. . . One of the most frightening examples of Orwellian "newspeak" I've seen in a long time, is Lloyd Sederer's call for "user-driven design" of mental health services. User-driven, in the context of the easier forced treatment regime which Sederer favors, must be when patients become pieces of burning fuel to drive roaring combustion in the engine of state psychiatry, producing nothing, taking society precisely nowhere, but deafening and blackening the soul.

Sederer cynically complains that law plays a more prominent role in psychiatry than in any other medical specialty. But psychiatry is more an arm of the law than it is a real medical specialty. Psychiatrists themselves wanted it that way and planned it, beginning at least as early as the 1940's. And without such a prominent role of law - that would be without involuntary commitment or forced treatment, and without the insanity defense excuse for criminal acts - psychiatry would have a much-reduced presence in society or none at all. As Thomas Szasz often suggested, it might just wither away.

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