Political Abuse of Psychiatry in the Soviet Union and in China: Complexities and Controversies
UVA Law Faculty Affiliations
On first glance, political abuse of psychiatry appears to represent a straightforward and uncomplicated story - the deployment of medicine as an instrument of repression. Psychiatric incarceration of mentally healthy people is uniformly understood to be a particularly pernicious form of repression because it uses the powerful modalities of medicine as tools of punishment, and it compounds a deep affront to human rights with deception and fraud. Doctors who allow themselves to be used in this way (certainly as collaborators, but even as victims of intimidation) betray the trust of their fellow man and breach their most basic ethical obligations as professionals.