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Freedom and insanity

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The paper describes the refusal of the liberal community to assert the right of persons accused of mental illness to be free of coercive psychiatric intrusion. It suggests that the penchant for benevolent governmental intrusion into other social problems may be at fault and recommends that intervention be abandoned in favor of a return to human autonomy as a basis of the concept of freedom.

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  1. Alexander, George and Szasz, Thomas, ‘From contract to status via psychiatry’,Santa Clara Lawyer 13 (1973), 537–559.

  2. Goldberg v. Kelly, 397 US 254, 1970.

  3. Lochner v. New York, 198 US 45, 1905.

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Alexander, G.J. Freedom and insanity. Metamedicine 3, 343–350 (1982). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00900936

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Key words

  • Mental illness
  • Autonomy
  • Freedom
  • Incarceration
  • State
  • Law