Thomas Szasz, April 15, 1920 – September 8, 2012

von freakoutcrazy

Thomas Szasz, relentless “critic of coercive psychiatry, the ‘therapeutic state,’ and the war on drugs,” died at his home in Manlius, N.Y. over the weekend, according to (to which Dr. Szasz was a contributing editor). Dr. Szasz’s “The Myth of Mental Illness,” according to Reason, “may be more relevant today than ever, as the field grows to encompass every sin and foible despite its shaky empirical foundation. Szasz argued tirelessly that psychiatric labels, as nothing more than names attached to sets of behavioral criteria, should not be used to strip people of their freedom or relieve them of their responsibility. Defenders of mental-health orthodoxy dismiss this critique more often than they address it, but even when they engage Szasz’s arguments they cannot refute his crucial point about the arbitrariness and subjectivity of psychiatric taxonomy.”