Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1813384
 


 



Bad Science Makes Bad Law: How Deference Afforded to Psychiatry Undermines Civil Liberties


Samantha Godwin


University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law

April 17, 2011

Samantha Godwin,"Bad Science Makes Bad Law: How the Deference Afforded to Psychiatry Undermines Civil Libterties," 10 Seattle J. for Soc. Just. 647 (2012).

Abstract:     
Courts and lawmakers trust psychiatric expertise when making judicial and public policy decisions concerning mental health, but is this trust well placed? This paper adopts a philosophy of science approach informed by medical research to evaluating the validity of psychiatric classification. This provides the basis for an interdisciplinary critical analysis of civil commitment law and use of psychiatric expert witnesses in light of legal evidence standards. This analysis demonstrates that involuntary civil commitment as it now stands is incompatible with broader due process and civil rights concerns and affords an unjustifiable evidentiary status to psychiatric diagnosis.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 63

Keywords: psychiatry, law, philosophy of science, evidence, law and psychiatry, law and philosophy, civil commitment, involuntary commitment, civil rights, due process

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Date posted: April 19, 2011 ; Last revised: February 6, 2014

Suggested Citation

Godwin, Samantha, Bad Science Makes Bad Law: How Deference Afforded to Psychiatry Undermines Civil Liberties (April 17, 2011). Samantha Godwin,"Bad Science Makes Bad Law: How the Deference Afforded to Psychiatry Undermines Civil Libterties," 10 Seattle J. for Soc. Just. 647 (2012).. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1813384 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1813384

Contact Information

Samantha Godwin (Contact Author)
University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law ( email )
10 West Road
Cambridge, CB3 9DZ
United Kingdom

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