Author Topic: Cases of political abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union  (Read 151 times)

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Offline Sanguine

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Cases of political abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union
« on: August 13, 2019, 05:24:08 PM »
Political abuse of psychiatry is the misuse of psychiatric diagnosis, detention and treatment for the purposes of obstructing the fundamental human rights of certain groups and individuals in a society.[16] It entails the exculpation and committal of citizens to psychiatric facilities based upon political rather than mental health-based criteria.[17] Many authors, including psychiatrists, also use the terms "Soviet political psychiatry"[18] or "punitive psychiatry" to refer to this phenomenon.[19]

In the book Punitive Medicine by Alexander Podrabinek, the term "punitive medicine", which is identified with "punitive psychiatry," is defined as "a tool in the struggle against dissidents who cannot be punished by legal means."[20] Punitive psychiatry is neither a discrete subject nor a psychiatric specialty but, rather, it is an emergency arising within many applied sciences in totalitarian countries where members of a profession may feel themselves compelled to service the diktats of power.[21] Psychiatric confinement of sane people is uniformly considered a particularly pernicious form of repression[22] and Soviet punitive psychiatry was one of the key weapons of both illegal and legal repression.[23]

As Vladimir Bukovsky and Semyon Gluzman wrote in their joint A Manual on Psychiatry for Dissenters, "the Soviet use of psychiatry as a punitive means is based upon the deliberate interpretation of dissent… as a psychiatric problem."[24] This work was published in Russian,[25] English,[26] French,[27] Italian,[28] German,[29] Danish.[30]

Psychiatry possesses an inherent capacity for abuse that is greater than in other areas of medicine.[31]...

An interesting and timely study.
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