Although government-sanctioned force is used less openly today in the West to advance political and religious agendas, it is still commonly used in the name of “mental health.” The checkered history of the involuntary confinement of noncriminal “patients” reveals that this practice rests on pseudo-scientific assumptions and has undermined legal rights and individual responsibility.z

Thomas S. Szasz (1920–2012) was professor of psychiatry emeritus at the State University of New York Upstate Medical University, and an advisory board member of The Independent Institute in Oakland, Calif.
Civil Liberties and Human RightsFDA and Drug RegulationFreedomGovernment and PoliticsLaw and LibertyPhilosophy and ReligionThe Nanny State
Other Independent Review articles by Thomas S. Szasz
Winter 2005/06 Defining Disease: The Gold Standard of Disease versus the Fiat Standard of Diagnosis
Spring 2001 The Therapeutic State: The Tyranny of Pharmacracy