Freedom and Coercion

Even in college, when Dr. Breggin was director of the Harvard-Radcliffe Mental Hospital Volunteer Program, he opposed the coercive practices so rampant in psychiatry, which include misinformation, authoritarianism, and involuntary treatment. He began criticizing coercion and involuntary treatment in his earliest scientific publications (1964 and 1965). This collection of papers makes available his earliest papers on the subject. Following the initial scientific articles, additional ones were published in magazines and journals that are not scientific in orientation. He also writes about psychiatric coercion in his book Toxic Psychiatry and then more systematically when he describes the three dynamics of love, voluntary exchange, and coercion in his book Beyond Conflict. He suggests that the reader take a good look at his seminal paper on the role of psychiatry in the Holocaust (1993) published in the International Journal of Risk & Safety in Medicine, which concludes with a systematic look at the inherently oppressive principles of genetic and biological psychiatry. This paper was delivered in Germany at the first-ever conference on Medicine in the Third Reich.

Psychosurgery (1973)

Journal of the American Medical Association, 226(9) 1121. To the Editor. THE JOURNAL (225:916, 1973) described me as “Undoubtedly the one person most responsible for politicizing psychosurgery ….” In this and a succeeding article (225:1035, 1973), the writer defends lobotomists and psychosurgeons and promotes their work as pure science unhappily […]

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The second wave of psychosurgery (1973)

M/H (Mental Health) 57:10-13. LOBOTOMY and psychosurgery are upon us again! In Philadelphia a black man dies of an overdose of heroin, and a reporter notices peculiar scars on his head. A portion of his brain has been burned out in an experimental attempt to cure his addiction. The neurosurgeon […]

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Contribution to the Social Rehabilitation of the Mentally Ill (1962)

The volunteer-patient relationships described in this paper occur between college students and mental patients on the back wards of a large state hospital. […] I think the so-called “dementia” and “hebephrenia” often described as the natural end points of schizophrenia are really products of social isolation on the back wards of state mental hospitals.

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