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December 24, 1973

Sane: Insane

JAMA. 1973;226(13):1569. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03230130057025

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To the Editor. —  The misreading of our letter by D. L. Rosenhan (224:1646, 1973) calls for an answer to clarify the issue that Rosenhan's reply has only further obscured.Rosenhan stated thatRifkin et al make the same error that all the personnel... made in our study: they accept the diagnosis of schizophrenia on the slender basis of the single symptom [hallucination].What our letter stated was that the report of a hallucination indicated that either the patient had "something wrong" or that he was malingering. We did not affirm the correctness of the specific diagnosis of schizophrenia. In fact, we stated that the diagnostic abilities of many psychiatrists warranted improvement.Nonetheless, our point was that some descriptive diagnosis should be made, whereas Rosenhan's original point seemed to be that no such diagnosis should be forthcoming. Therefore, we were very pleased to see that Rosenhan now believes that the