September 14, 2012

THOUGH MARX, DARWIN AND FREUD WERE EASY TARGETS:

Dr. Thomas Szasz, Psychiatrist Who Led Movement Against His Field, Dies at 92 (BENEDICT CAREY, September 11, 2012, NY Times)

Dr. Szasz (pronounced sahz) published his critique at a particularly vulnerable moment for psychiatry. With Freudian theorizing just beginning to fall out of favor, the field was trying to become more medically oriented and empirically based. Fresh from Freudian training himself, Dr. Szasz saw psychiatry's medical foundation as shaky at best, and his book hammered away, placing the discipline "in the company of alchemy and astrology." [...]

To those skeptical of modern psychiatry, however, Dr. Szasz was a foundational figure.

"We did not agree on everything, like his view that there is no such thing as mental illness," said Vera Hassner Sharav, president and founder of the Alliance for Human Research Protection, a patient advocacy group, and a longtime critic of the field. "But his message that people get designated as ill, labeled and then shafted out of society and preyed on by an industry dominated by drugs -- that's where he was very valuable."

After making his name, Dr. Szasz only turned up the heat.

Posted by at September 14, 2012 5:09 AM
  

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