The FORCES International Honour Committee
The outspoken and controversial psychiatrist Dr. Thomas Szasz has had a long and distinguished career that has taken him beyond the strict boundaries of psychiatric practice and theory to an exploration of the role of psychiatry and medicine in society.
Beginning with the 1961 book The Myth of Mental Illness, which brought him international fame, Dr. Szasz has consistently stressed the themes of liberty and responsibility -- and warned of the dangers to civil liberties presented by the practice of involuntary psychiatric hospitalization. Always, he challenges us to resist the medicalization of the human condition to the point where we lose our autonomy and freedom.
Dr. Szasz is Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus at the State University of New York Health Science Center and Adjunct Scholar at the Cato Institute, Washington, D.C.
His work has been translated into many languages, and he has lectured extensively in the United States and around the world. A recipient of the Mencken Award, he is the author of many books, among them Pharmacracy: Medicine and Politics in America (2000), which economist Milton Friedman called "a passionate warning of the danger of converting the welfare state into the therapeutic state."
Amongst the latest books of Dr. Szasz are Coercion as Cure: A Critical History of Psychiatry and Liberation by Oppression: a Comparative Study of Slavery and Psychiatry.