On Anger, Shock, Fear, and Trauma: Therapeutic Jurisprudence as a Response to Dignity Denials in Public Policy
International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 2018, Forthcoming
33 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2018 Last revised: 31 Jul 2018
Date Written: July 24, 2018
This article asserts that when policymaking processes, outcomes, and implementations stoke fear, anxiety, and trauma, they often lead to denials of human dignity. It cited as prime examples the recent actions of America’s current federal government concerning immigration and health care. As a response, I urge that therapeutic jurisprudence should inform both the processes of policymaking and the design of public policy, trained on whether human dignity, psychological health, and well-being are advanced or diminished. I also discuss three methodologies that will help to guide those who want to engage legislation in a TJ-informed manner. Although achieving this fundamental shift will not be easy, we have the raw analytical and intellectual tools to move wisely in this direction.
Keywords: Therapeutic jurisprudence, law and psychology, legislation, public policy, immigration, health care, human dignity
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