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  1. Psychiatry : an impossible profession ?

    Article, Communication - En anglais

    Beattie Smith Lecture. , 1996/03/19.


    To examine the disconcerting question as to whether psychiatry is a fully-fledged profession or not.


    A review of pertinent literature regarding the criteria of a profession, the vulnerability of psychiatry to abuse, and potential models for the proper practice of psychiatry.


    Psychiatry lost its professional anchorage entirely with its misuse to suppress dissent in the former Soviet Union and in the so-called euthanasia program in Nazi Germany.

    It remains vulnerable to abuse unless psychiatrists recognise the professional criteria they must satisfy.

    A new symbol, a humble stool, is proposed.

    Its three legs represent the three equally significant dimensions of psychiatric practice : science, art and ethics.


    Psychiatry just'scrapes home'in constituting a profession but only subject to three provisos :

    • namely (i) that psychiatrists appreciate the need to achieve a coherent body of special knowledge through a genuine creative process which necessarily results in uncomfortable tension from time to time ;

    • (ii) that we promote the art of psychiatry by cultivating an ethos of caring and sensitivity ;

    • and (iii) that we function within an articulated ethical framework with respect for codes of ethics as guidelines.

    Mots-clés Pascal : Psychiatrie, Ethique, Psychiatre, Responsabilité professionnelle, Historique, Politique, Homme

    Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Psychiatry, Ethics, Psychiatrist, Occupational responsibility, Case history, Policy, Human

    Logo du centre Notice produite par :
    Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique

    Cote : 97-0363825

    Code Inist : 002B18A. Création : 12/09/1997.