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December 23, 1974

A Draconian Remedy

Author Affiliations

Mt. Vernon, Ill

JAMA. 1974;230(12):1636. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240120018009

To the Editor.—  The recent communication by Dr. Szasz (229:1326, 1974) is somewhat confusing to me, as to accept it at its face value would imply a degree of naïveté of which Dr. Szasz cannot be suspected.How can anybody expect empathy or understanding from members of a group that condones and authorizes the publication of a case report that begins, "Neither her pretty, child-like face nor slim figure gave hint of the full and sordid life she had already lived..."?1 If that is how they feel about their fee-paying patients, what does Dr. Szasz expect from an annoying colleague? Such remarks as these are not unique in the psychiatric literature.The problem with psychiatry is that nobody, even if armed with an advanced understanding of the grammar and syntax of the English language, can fathom the meaning of the majority of printed works by psychiatrists about psychiatry or about