Thomas Szasz

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Thomas Stephen Szasz (pronounced Saas) (born April 15, 1920) is a psychiatrist and academic. Since 1990[1] he has been Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at the State University of New York Health Science Center in Syracuse, New York. He is a well-known social critic of the moral and scientific foundations of psychiatry, and of the social control aims of medicine in modern society, as well as of scientism. He is well known for his books The Myth of Mental Illness (1960) and The Manufacture of Madness: A Comparative Study of the Inquisition and the Mental Health Movement (1970), which set out some of the arguments with which he is most associated.

His views on special treatment follow from classical liberal roots which are based on the principles that each person has the right to bodily and mental self-ownership and the right to be free from violence from others, although he criticized the "Free World" as well as the Communist states for its use of psychiatry and "drogophobia". He believes that suicide, the practice of medicine, use and sale of drugs and sexual relations should be private, contractual, and outside of state jurisdiction.

In 1973, the American Humanist Association named him Humanist of the Year.



Thomas Szasz was born to Julius and Lily Szasz on April 15, 1920, in Budapest, Hungary. In 1938 Szasz moved to the United States, where he attended the University of Cincinnati for his Bachelor of Arts in medicine, and received his medical degree from the same university in 1944.[2] Szasz completed his residency requirement at the Cincinnati General Hospital, then worked at the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis from 1951–1956, and then for the next five years was a member of its staff—taking twenty-four months out for active duty with the U.S. Navy. [3]

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