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Coercion as Cure: A Critical History of Psychiatry
     

Coercion as Cure: A Critical History of Psychiatry

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by Thomas Szasz
 

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Understanding the history of psychiatry requires an accurate view of its function and purpose. In this provocative new study of this nominal medical specialty,Szasz challenges conventional beliefs about psychiatry. He asserts that, in fact,psychiatrists are not concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of bonafide illnesses. He contends that the truth about

Overview

Understanding the history of psychiatry requires an accurate view of its function and purpose. In this provocative new study of this nominal medical specialty,Szasz challenges conventional beliefs about psychiatry. He asserts that, in fact,psychiatrists are not concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of bonafide illnesses. He contends that the truth about psychiatry, its self-evident ends, and the means used to achieve them is socially unacceptable. Psychiatric tradition, social expectation, and the law make it clear that coercion is the profession's determining characteristic.

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“Szasz marshals the evidence and lays out the history and current practice of psychiatric oppression as the most grievous remaining violation of freedom, liberty and tolerance…. For clear perspective and understanding it is important to know some history, and in terms of the history of psychiatry, Coercion as Cure is a great gift.” Canadian Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences "A powerful and fittingly impassioned indictment of psychiatrists who use coercion to 'treat' patients by the psychiatrist who has done more than anyone else to challenge psychiatry to abandon the destructive use of force and replace it with consent, trust, and adherence to the Hippocratic injunction to do no harm." George J. Annas, professor of health law, bioethics, and human rights, Boston University Schools of Public Health, Medicine, and Law "Nearly all books on the history of psychiatry have been written by people who wholeheartedly believe in the reality of 'mental illness.' At long last we have a history of psychiatry by the very man who nearly fifty years ago declared mental illness to be a myth. Stripping away centuries of self-serving propaganda written by psychiatry's acolytes, Dr. Thomas Szasz gives us a radically new look at the history of the world's most dangerous political religions. From the eighteenth century's 'trade in lunacy' to the nineteenth century's 'insane asylums' to the twentieth century's 'snake pits' to the twenty-first century's 'outpatient commitment,' Szasz gives us a radically different perspective on the major episodes in the history of psychiatry. After Coercion as Cure, we will never be able to look at psychiatry again as a legitimate claimant to the throne of medical science." Keith Hoeller, editor, Review of Existential Psychology & Psychiatry "Bit by barbarous and bizarre' bit, Thomas Szasz dismantles psychiatry's rickety scaffolding, exposing over two centuries of physical torture and tortured logic. Professor Szasz takes the necessary analytical and empirical solvents to this state-empowered fraternity of sercereres. He also supplies the only salve for the psychiatric violence he correctly dubs 'psychiatric slavery': abolition: Now, 'Let the sunshine in.'" —Ilana Mercer, libertarian columnist and writer, WorldNetDaily.com "Thomas Szasz (Professor of Psychiatry emeritus, State University of New York) presents Coercion as Cure: A Critical History of Psychiatry, a stinging indictment that dares to question conventional beliefs, and deconstructs modern psychiatry itself, arguing that it has no right to be dubbed a medical science. Coercion as Cure takes its title from Szasz's observation that the defining features of psychiatry is its use of force-though sometimes psychiatrists deal with voluntary patients, all too often psychiatrists "diagnose" and "treat" people without their consent or against their clearly expressed wishes. "The psychiatrist's basic social mandate is the coercive-paternalistic protection of the mental patient from himself and the public from the mental patient. Yet, in the professional literature as well as the popular media, this is the least noted feature of psychiatry as a medical specialty...It would be difficult to exaggerate the extent to which historians of psychiatry as well as mental health professionals and journalists ignore, deny, and rationalize the involuntary, coerced, forcibly imposed nature of psychiatric treatments." A harchly critical assessment of the modern psychiatric medical system." —The Midwest Book Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781412810500
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
08/15/2009
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
293
Sales rank:
895,211
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

Thomas Szasz (1920–2012) was professor of psychiatry emeritus at the State University of New York Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York and adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute, Washington, DC. He was a prominent figure in the anti-psychiatry movement and a critic of the moral and scientific foundation of psychiatry.

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Coercion as Cure: A Critical History of Psychiatry 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago