Psychiatry’s Bad Reasons

Over at City Journal, the alarmed doctor recounts an appalling and deeply disturbing case from France, which is is not recommended for the faint of heart.

There is a more general point, touching it on the rule of law and the role of punishment. Why, in a case like this, or indeed in any case, should a psychiatrist be asked to speculate on the dangerousness of a man, as if issuing a prognosis in the case of, say, pneumonia? Punishment is not therapy and should be proportional to what a man has done and not to what he might do in the future. The latter is pure speculation.

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