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To the Editor:
—I have read with considerable interest an article by one of your editorialists in the August 2 issue of The Journal, entitled "Psychiatry in Relation to Crime." Near the bottom of the first paragraph the following statements occur:may equally be labeled mental disease. This conclusion is permissible even when the criminal has shown no evidence of mental disease other than his criminal behavior.I am aware that many psychiatrists have long urged the acceptance of this view, but I am somewhat surprised that The Journal of the American Medical Association should conform thereto without satisfying its readers by the presentation of reasonably obvious evidence.Might not this theory be carried to the point of reductio ad absurdum by applying it to any abnormal behavior of any individual; for example, the quack nostrum vender or the absurd cultists? After all, the commission of a crime is merely
Hoffman R. PSYCHIATRY IN RELATION TO CRIME. JAMA. 1930;95(9):681. doi:10.1001/jama.1930.02720090043026