Ohio Northern University Law Review
psychiatry, mental health, medications
Do histories of psychiatry make a difference--or have legal implications--in the present? Does our current situation help explain what historians say about psychiatry's past? Focusing on the past half century--the era of medications-- this paper explores the reciprocal relationship between the present and the past in psychiatry. Part II sketches the medical developments that constitute the subjects of any history of psychiatry. This Part also examines related developments in law. Part III introduces some problems of psychiatric historiography and examines some historians' attempts to deal with them. Part IV analyzes the account of psychiatry's past contained in Edward Shorter's well-regarded book, A History of Psychiatry: From the Era of the Asylum to the Age of Prozac. Finally, the conclusion suggests two relationships between legal developments and the writing of psychiatric history.
Sheldon Gelman, Looking Backward: The Twentieth Century Revolutions in Psychiatry, Law and Public Mental Health, 29 Ohio Northern University Law Review 531 (2003)