[ExI] A Small Request

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Sat Feb 9 00:59:56 UTC 2008

On 08/02/2008, Lee Corbin <lcorbin at rawbw.com> wrote:

> Now it's one thing to accost the citizen if he or she is doing something
> offensive, even if by just being an eyesore. At least the citizen has a
> chance to know that he's been offensive some way, or that he has
> inconvenienced or is inconveniencing someone, and that by a simple
> change in overt behavior, that affront may be fixed.  It's quite another
> to forcibly remove the citizen from going about his business because
> the citizen is deemed by certain psychiatrists (of legally/philosophically
> dubious credentials) of being incapable of successfully attending to his
> own needs.  (On this account, I would have no problem with the
> "authorities" merely trying to persuade a citizen that he or she would
> be better off in captivity.)

But what if the person is acting in a self-destructive way due to a
disease one of the symptoms of which is that the afflicted cannot see
that he has a disease? There are many diseases that can do this: head
injury, brain tumours, dementia, thyroid disorders, electrolyte
disturbances, as well as the psychotic and affective disorders.
Recreational drug use can have the same effect, but in that case the
person makes a choice to start using the drug, and if he is later
driven by addiction usually recognises that it is addiction, even if
he does not want to or is unable to do anything about it. But no-one
chooses to have a head injury or develop schizophrenia.

> It wasn't so long ago that in a more socialized country, dissidents were
> routinely judged to be suffering from certain mental problems and
> hustled off to insane asylums.

Obviously that was a misuse of psychiatry, just as amputating healthy
dissidents' limbs would have been a misuse of surgery.

Stathis Papaioannou

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