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September 22, 2009


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Patrick S. O'Donnell

Although I've not read The Center Cannot Hold..., I have read two utterly remarkable and indispensable (at least for those with an interest in their topics) books by Saks that I cannot recommend highly enough: Jekyll on Trial: Multiple Personality Disorder and Criminal Law (1997), and Refusing Care: Forced Treatment of the Mentally Ill (2002). The latter book might be seen as an exemplary model of books of this sort, as she covers the myriad and messy legal, ethical, scientific and medical issues in a manner that combines a philosophical temperament with a seasoned social scientist's grasp of the relevant literature. As Kenneth Kress says in his blurb from the back jacket cover, she displays " admirable breadth of knowledge in both psychiatry and mental health law, strong analytical skills, striking creativity, and an unparalleled sensitivity to the perspective of persons who suffer from mental illnes."

It's gratifying to see her work recognized in this way (and in the end of course we'll all reap the fruits).

carolyn Robe

Too bad she doesn't use her formidable research skills to talk about the right to receive treatment as well as the right to refuse. Lack of treatment is the bigger problem in the US today?

Also use those skills to discover the efficacy of the (new) medications?

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