By Thomas Szasz
This research examines ways that psychiatry is used to manage, segregate, and "treat" society's undesirable: grownup dependents, the homeless, and people labelled mentally in poor health. simply as society as soon as placed the indigent within the poorhouse and workhouse, housed epileptics in kingdom associations, and imprisoned defaulting borrowers, at the present time coercive psychiatric practices are used to do away with "undesirable" folks. yet such coercion, the writer contends, is counterproductive, injurious to the individual's dignity and liberty, and morally mistaken. He argues that society needs to reject the infantilization of psychological sufferers, and accord them an analogous rights and freedoms due people with physically affliction or no ailment in any respect.
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Additional info for Cruel Compassion: Psychiatric Control of Society's Unwanted
On the conjunction of the injection of this reductionism that has accompanied the pervasive information into a growth of modern life science. If we are to avoid some of the possibilities that center unfortunate consequences of this suggest that tionist it new program would I meaning of the reduc- biological inquiry, requires careful attention to the in the life-sciences. Since Descartes, reductionist and "analytic" strategies have formed a powerful and successful methodology for exploring questions in the life sciences.
These points may seem obvious. But it is remarkable how they have either been forgotten or ignored in the literature of modern life science, not only in the writings of the popularizers and proselytizers of strong sociobiology, genetic reductionism, and explanatory cognitive neuroscience, but also in the textbooks upon which are educated future physicians, nurses, genetic counselors, and biological scientists. The problem presented by the success of the contemporary reductionist program in biology, as it has subtly shifted from a methodology to a set of claims ily loses sight of the fact that about biological reality, reductive analysis of life is that takes it eas- place within a framework that has merely backgrounded the self-reflective, intentional and moral dimensions of human existence.
It demands in particular that we look more closely at the claims of this program when it is turned upon human beings. However one wishes to account for the distinction of knower and known to which I have drawn attention is not as important as the recognition that reflective consciousness and historically as preconditions minal fruits. some hope Recognition of o/the Cartesian this simple, but human freedom stand tree rather than its ter- crucial, point offers for reorienting the relationship of the cognitive, vital, physical, and ethical issues that at present seem deeply dislocated by we are to unlock the giant of a new biotechnological genetics and apply this to the success of the reductionist human beings with more revolution in biology.