ISEPP Highlights Ethics around Mental Health Science and "Medical Model"

Oct 10, 2019

Credit ISEPP

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Week, Wake Up Call Segment Host/Producer MK Mendoza speaks with International Society of Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry Executive Director Dr. Chuck Ruby about ethical considerations around the state of our current mental health system and their upcoming conference "Do No Harm? How The Ethics Of Psychology And Psychiatry Have Become Unethical". The organization argues that the dictum “primum non nocere” (first, do no harm) has ostensibly guided the practice of mental health care within the fields of clinical psychology and psychiatry, as well as the other allied mental health professions. While a noble striving, it is ironic that the application of this conventional medical model maxim to human emotional struggles and problematic behaviors has caused the very harm of which it warns. We will address this dilemma at the 22nd Annual Conference of the International Society for Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry in Baltimore, Maryland, October 11th through the 13th.

More than two centuries ago, the father of American psychiatry, Benjamin Rush, proposed the idea that various forms of distress were the result of diseased minds. Since then, considerable harm has come to the consumers of the mental health industry because those forms of distress are not problems of literal disease, illness, or medicine. Nonetheless, medical forms of diagnosis and treatment have been used to identify and control people who are not ill. Conference speakers will address these issues and suggest more humane forms of helping that retain the elements of beneficence, self-determination, and dignity.

For more information on ISEPP, see link below: