Höschl C.: Green Paper and Limits of Psychiatry as a Medical Discipline. Syllabus & Proceedings, American Psychiatric Association 2007 Annual Meeting, p.309-310.

23. 5. 2007


Prague Psychiatric Center and 3rd Medical Faculty, Charles University of Prague, Czech Republic

On 17 October 2005, European Commission published a Green Paper on Mental Health, which started to harmonize mental health (MH) policy across Europe. It emphasizes the priority of MH in health care policy, appeals to tackle stigma, to pay more attention to users and their families, to transform MH care services from old-fashioned mental hospitals toward community with regard to social needs and human rights. This praiseworthy ideas might to some extent clash with the role of psychiatry as a medical discipline. Psychiatry should set limits to medical explanations of social phenomena as well as to its own responsibility for them. Psychiatry as a medical discipline relies on the authority of medicine. If this source of authority is obscured in psychiatry, the discipline will be blamed to serve as a social (and political) tool for controlling undesirable phenomena. Psychiatry is confronted by the challenge to define the border between the processes treatable and preventable by medical discipline and those that should be the focus of regulation by legal, social, educational and counselling policies of the society. Psychiatry as a branch of medicine, and other scientific and social disciplines, have to collaborate to provide sufficient information for policy makers.

Key words: Green paper; identity of psychiatry; human rights
(neodpovídá publikované verzi; not identical with published version)