The 12th Invest in ME Research Conference June, 2017, Part 2
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Psychiatrist criticised for witness statement in murder trial

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Dolphin, May 19, 2011.

  1. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

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    Since becoming ill with M.E., I have become frustrated with the subjectivity of psychiatry (although have never been to one personally - I just mean in their influence, etc.)

    I read a little by Thomas Szasz http://www.szasz.com and got interested in how psychiatry can play a part in our justice system e.g. actions can be somewhat "excused" because of somebody's state of mind.

    I just found this story of interest and perhaps a few others will especially as Simon Wessely is quoted:


    http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=416191&c=1

     
  2. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

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    Thomas Szasz's Summary Statement and Manifesto

    These are extreme positions of course but are thought-provoking I think.

    http://www.szasz.com/manifesto.html

     
  3. Sean

    Sean Senior Member

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    Szasz is a very interesting and thought provoking commentator, and for that alone he is worth knowing about. But I am not entirely convinced of how realistic or humane some of his stuff is. He seems to be prepared to tolerate an awful lot of (relatively easily avoidable) collateral damage that would certainly arise out of implementing his prescription.


    Also, Julian McGauran is a pretty nasty right wing thug, and not that smart either, the sort of person that is probably not a big asset for our side. I seriously doubt he will specifically stand up for ME/CFS patients. Don't be fooled by the 'Liberal' tag, in Oz that means the conservatives (comprising a long standing alliance between the Liberal & National parties, often called the Coalition). It is a bit confusing to the uninitiated, and as a former Labor Prime Minister said, the Liberal party should be sued for false advertising.

    While it always helps to have the subjective nonsense of psychiatry being called out at high levels of power, and as much as it pains to me to agree with Wessely, he does have a point about academics needing to be free of inappropriate political interference, (providing the academics do their job properly, of course).


    A mixed bag then.
     
  4. Tulip

    Tulip Guest

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    I was very angry about what Graham Burrows did, he blatantly lied and ignored all prior evidence that Arthur Freeman was in fact a very nasty piece of work and had been making threats to his kids lives prior to killing his daughter, had major anger problems and couldn't handle his kids being independant people - he is quite clearly a sociopath. I agree that Graham Burrows should be sacked, he almost swayed the entire jury, which could have seen the monster Arthur Freeman let loose, only to have access to his other kids. Who on this earth could take the side of a "dad" that threw his own daughter off a very high bridge to her death, on her first day of school?.

    In this particular case politicians should have a voice and should be listened to. Personally I think psychiatry is a joke.
     
  5. Sean

    Sean Senior Member

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    Just to be clear, I am not on Burrows side, he is a serious problem. Just generally opposed to political interference in these matters, especially by somebody like McGauran, who could easily make things a lot worse for us.

    This is a matter for the courts to decide, in conjunction with the profession itself (for what that is worth).

    The Australian legal system did a good job knocking Munchausen's-by-proxy on the head, in a case of forced removal of a child with ME/CFS, that went all the way to a state supreme court. There was also a famous case here a few years back (in NSW, I think) of a psych who refused to accept almost anybody was disabled, and he got torn to shreds by the court rarely seen such language in a judicial summing up and it was reported in the media. And this time the court (judge & jury) did basically ignore and discredit Burrows in reaching its verdict of guilty. These all set serious precedents and limits that psychs have to take careful heed of when diagnosing and treating, and especially when offering expert medico-legal advice. So the psych profession does not rule unchallenged in the Oz courts, something clearly to the benefit of ME/CFS patients here. Whatever its failings, when the law decides you are in the right it can be a very powerful ally indeed.
     
  6. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    I think their (psychiatrists) whole position is base on subjectivity Dolphin and as such impossible to measure in any scientific way. Sort of their "professional" opinion very often against plain common sense/facts - even medical findings in the case of ME/CFS (error of thinking/perception of illness). Very unsound basis opinion only with nothing to "measure". A guessing game.
     
  7. Tulip

    Tulip Guest

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    I followed the Arthur Freeman case closely, the jury could not reach a unanimous decision and went to the magistrate telling him so and asking him how they should proceed in this instance, this was on the 4th day of deliberations. On the 5th day it was reported in the news. Many jurors had been swayed by Burrows blatant lies. This is why there is so much anger regarding Burrows.
     
  8. Sean

    Sean Senior Member

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    And it is justified.

    But Freeman was convicted and (effectively) sentenced to life, and Burrow's credibility has taken a serious hit. No win there for either of them. Darcy gained some measure of justice. The real failing of the system, of society, that we did not prevent it happening in the first place.
     
  9. Tulip

    Tulip Guest

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    Unfortunately that will never change and it will continue, even with the proposed changes to the family law legislation. The Howard gov has a lot to answer for in regards to a spike of these types of events!.
     
  10. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    IF he was a socipath .. in a way they are mentally ill. They actually dont feel emotions like you or I. To be a socipath isnt something they asked to be.

    Psychology IS a guessing game where one could go to different psychriastrists and end up with a heap of different diagnoses given. A con may get out of a court case or a schizophrenic may be missed as so much just relies on what the psychristrists "thinks" the issue is.

    One thing I really disagree about courts is that often they wont allow mental health people who is familiar with a person and their mental health to testify while they get their so called psychriastrists to do a 45 min assessment who then becomes an authority on that person.

    That happened to me when I went to court due to arson when I went to commit suicide by setting myself alight.. my own psychologist I'd been seeing way before i did the so called crime and still was seeing wasnt allowed to report my mental state.. while a stranger psych gave an assessment on me after less then an hr (while he also was dealing with phone calls over other people). To which he then reported that I would of been fine when the crime almost got committed and ignored completely that Ive had hallunications at times if I become very stressed .. a fact Ive previously was distressed over and my psychologist knew about before the near suicide. The whole court situation assessments are bullshit..

    When I refused bail and went to jail (due to feeling like I was unable to cope at home so I wanted to go to jail to be looked after.. shrugs easier then being home cause in jail at least you can get nice meals when you are too sick to cook so what would to most be unrational becomes rational choices)... I met many there who shouldnt have been in jail at all... very obviously mentally ill people or with obvious issues with their brains.

    The girl in the room next to me who also had a diagnosed personality disorder was having uncontrolled grand mal seizures several times daily in her cell which medication wasnt controlling and was worsening with time.. I think when I left she was having 12 seizures per day if not more ..and was like dr jeckle and mr hyde.. while another who had been in home care all her life, had been diagnosed as having the brain of an 8yr old but still went to jail for biting someone.. while another I could see was autistic but it obviously had gone undiagnosed).

    Our poor mental health system is causing some to end up in jail who wouldnt be there otherwise. It is basically the dumping ground for those the medical system isnt helping and is ignoring. If they improve the mental health system, there would be less crime.

    Here's another case in Australia from today.. which is quite typical of our mental health system (Ive been hung up on by them when I was suicidal and also at times told just to go take a bath) .. people are dying due to it http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/8252600/killer-told-to-relax-and-take-a-shower
     

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