In this short work, Dr. Szasz takes aim at conventional psychiatry, and at the attendent system of courts, hospitals, and psychiatrists who confine patients against their will. The focal point is a Supreme Court case involving a man forcibly committed to a Florida asylum for 14 years. In refuting the widely held notion that the Donaldson case represents an advancement in the rights of mental patients, Dr. Szasz has put the American legal establishments on trial.
"In a short, powerfully written book, Dr. Szasz takes aim once more at conventional psychiatry, which labels individuals 'mentally ill,' and at the attendant system of courts, hospitals, and psychiatrists who confine patients against their will . . . [He] has put the American psychiatric and legal establishments on trial, with disturbing results. He investigates abuses in diagnostic methods, electroshock 'therapy' and the judicial apparatus . . . Essential reading for those concerned with the care of the emotionally disturbed and the moral dilemmas of psychiatry."—Publishers Weekly
Thomas Szasz is the author of over six hundred articles and twenty-four books. He was a practicing psychiatrist and is a professor of psychiatry emeritus at the State University of New York Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York.