Thomas Szasz RIP

Last month, Thomas Szasz, a long-time critic of American mental health treatment passed away.  While Szasz was a controversial figure, particularly among his fellow psychiatrists, his stance against medicalizing vexing behavior as an illness or disease to be eradicated with pills has deep meaning for the campaign to end the misuse of psychotropic drugs for people with dementia.  Szasz took particular note of the subjective nature of psychiatric labels, financial incentives of pharmaceutical companies, and the constant threats of coercive treatment to eradicate nonconforming behavior.  In dementia care, these elements have contributed to the misuse of psychotropic drugs to strip patients of their ability to communicate distress or discomfort.


About achicotel

Anthony Chicotel is a staff attorney for CANHR. His areas of expertise include the rights of long-term care residents, nursing home litigation, health care decision-making, and conservatorships.
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