August 1980

Soviet Psychiatry: Scientific Dissent and Political Dissidents

Author Affiliations

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences University of Washington School of Medicine Seattle, WA 98195
Department of Psychiatry Yale University School of Medicine New Haven, CT 06519

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1980;37(8):961. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1980.01780210119017

To the Editor.—  We are distressed by news reports that have appeared in the popular press, as well as in scientific and professional newsletters, regarding an article by a Soviet psychiatrist that appeared in the July 1979 issue of the Archives.1 In his article, Dr Etely P. Kazanetz discussed the problem of applying the diagnosis of chronic schizophrenia to persons with exogenous or acute psychoses, the social and personal dangers of doing so, and the tendency for this to occur in the Soviet Union.In a letter in the subsequent issue, one of us (W.R.) discussed the background and meaning of Kazanetz's article in social, historical, and psychiatric terms.2 The letter, invited by the chief editor, contrasted Kazanetz's approach to diagnosis with the one now dominant in the Soviet Union, and commended the author's willingness to present data that raised serious questions about the clinical effects of the

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