Neither Bad Nor Mad

The Competing Discourses of Psychiatry, Law and Politics

Author
This book looks at what happened when the government of Victoria, Australia, enacted special legislation to detain one person with a severe antisocial personality disorder on the grounds of his presumed dangerousness, despite the fact that he did not fit within the ordinary criteria of mental illness or criminality. In doing so, it interfered with the law's protection of civil rights and also with professional distinctions between a certifiable mental illness and the broader concept of mental disorder. The ensuing legal processes highlighted the ambiguous, contingent and negotiable nature of the boundary between badness and madness.

The issues raised by this case transcend a government's singular action, highlighting matters such as the duty of care in a forensic setting; diagnostic uncertainties; debates about treatment; the responsibility of politicians to protect the community; and the difficulties inherent in translating clinical concepts into an acceptable legal format. Neither Bad Nor Mad analyses the interaction between psychiatry and the law in an absorbing account of one case with extensive ramifications.
$60.00
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Press reviews for: Neither Bad Nor Mad

Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology

The author is keenly aware of the profound societal, ethical and philosophical issues that arise in and around the `no man's land' occupied by personality disordered individuals...this book, like the `diagnosis' of its essential character, has no national boundaries. The subject-matter is representative of a clinical situation that could arise and has arisen in many jurisdictions. The `bad or mad' conundrum confronts the very credibility of psychiatry and its knowledge base...the potential readership of this book has no established parameters and will appeal to many. This book is highly recommended.

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