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Psychiatry and the Law: A Critique of Expert Testimony, Informed Consent, and Related Contemporary Practices

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Title: Psychiatry and the Law
Subtitle: A Critique of Expert Testimony, Informed Consent, and Related Contemporary Practices
Subject Classification: Psychology, Counselling, Healthcare, Law and Legal Ethics 
BIC Classification: LNTM1, MMH, JKSM
BISAC Classification: LAW067000, MED058180, PSY036000
Binding: Hardback, pp.(to be confirmed)
Planned Publication date: September 2024
ISBN (printed book): 978-1-80441-288-6
ISBN (web pdf): 978-1-80441-289-3

Price: £87.99

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Psychiatry and the Law is the sixth Volume of the Ethics International Press Critical Psychology and Critical Psychiatry Series.

Understanding the current systems of psychology and psychiatry is profoundly important. So is exploring alternatives. The Critical Psychology and Critical Psychiatry Series presents solicited chapters from international experts on a wide variety of underexplored subjects. This is a series for mental health researchers, teachers, and practitioners, for parents and interested lay readers, and for anyone trying to make sense of anxiety, depression, and other emotional difficulties. 

Psychiatry and the Law takes a critical, wide-ranging look at the ways in which psychiatry and the law interact to violate the fundamental stated principles of both professions. One of the issues critically examined is the legitimacy of ‘psychiatric expert testimony’ and whether psychiatrist and psychologist opinion evidence ever satisfies the established reliability criteria for allowing expert testimony. It likewise explores whether “informed consent” is ever obtained from those individuals facing the decision whether to accept or reject a proposed treatment. Other topics examined include the legitimacy of custodial institutionalization, the lawfulness of “treatments” like electroshock, and basic questions about how psychiatry affects the legal process and whether or not it undermines the rule of law.


Editors: Arnoldo Cantú, LCSW is a clinical social worker with experience in school social work and community mental health working with children, adolescents, and their families in a clinical capacity. He is undertaking Doctoral research at Colorado State University (CSU) with an interest in researching conceptual and practical alternatives to the DSM.

Dr. Eric Maisel, Ph.D., is a former family therapist, based in California, USA, who works actively as a creativity coach. He is the author of many books on creativity, psychology, and mental health, among them The Future of Mental HealthHumane Helping, and Rethinking Depression.

Dr. Chuck Ruby, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the International Society for Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry. He is a U.S. Air Force veteran and a licensed psychologist in private practice in southern Maryland who has been offering psychotherapy services for more than 25 years.


This title is currently being reviewed. Please check back for further updates in due course. 

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