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Symposium Materials:

· Symposium Program

· Upstate Update

· A Letter from Azerbaijan Psychologists

· Greetings from the Department of Psychiatry by Mantosh Dewan, M.D.

· "Forty Years of Consequences."
Remarks by Nelson Borelli, M.D.

· "The State's Insatiable Need to Incarcerate Those Who Frighten It."
Remarks by George J. Alexander, JSD

· "Psychiatry's Moral Anchor"
Remarks by Robert Daly, M.D.

· "Electroshock -- Epitomizing the Myth."
Remarks by John M. Friedberg, M.D.

· "Thomas Szasz's Personalist and Ethical Conception of the Cause and Cure of Character, Conduct, and Conflict."
Remarks by Zvi Lothane, M.D.

· "Therapeutic Paternalism in Australia: A Szaszian Critique of Repetition Strain Injury (RSI)."
Remarks by Professor Robert Spillane

· "Thomas Szasz: Rhetoric and Mental Illness."
Remarks by Richard Vatz, Ph.D.

· "Thomas Szasz's Impact on Political Issues: Two Examples from Germany."
Remarks by René Talbot

· "Some Recollections of a Psychiatry Resident-in-Supervision with Professor Thomas S. Szasz, M.D."
Remarks by Laura W. Neville, M.D.

· Introduction Letter
· Accommodations
· Registration Form
· Driving Directions


Greetings from

Mantosh Dewan, MD

Professor and Chair
Department of Psychiatry
SUNY Health Science Center/Syracuse, Syracuse, New York

At the opening of
Liberty and/or Psychiatry? 40 Years After The Myth of Mental Illness
A Symposium in Honor of Thomas Szasz on His 80th Birthday
Weiskotten Hall -- April 15, 2000

On behalf of the Department I’m delighted to welcome you all to this very special moment in history when we gather to celebrate the work of the world’s best-known and most widely read living psychiatrist, our friend and colleague, Thomas Szasz. It would logically follow that he needs no introduction, but I think he does because Tom is a gem -- and we in Syracuse are particularly privileged to lay claim to him as OUR gem! – and gem with many facets. I’d like to touch on some of them very briefly.

Tom obtained his accent in Hungary during the 1920s, his medical degree from Cincinnati in 1944, and then did two years each of residency in Internal Medicine and Psychiatry. He received a diploma from the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis in 1950 and from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in 1951. Five years later the center of the psychiatric universe moved east when, at the age of 36, Tom was appointed full Professor of Psychiatry here in Syracuse. Tom has published 25 books and 700 papers, book chapters, and letters. That is a rate of greater than one piece every month since his graduation 52 years ago! Tom’s brilliance has illuminated just about every aspect of the human condition. And while today’s symposium focuses on the forty years after The Myth of Mental Illness, I’d like to teasingly remind us all that he wrote some exceptionally lucid and still useful papers before that such as “A Contribution to the Philosophy of Medicine. The Basic Models of the Doctor-Patient Relationship,” and one of my favorites, “A Contribution to the Psychology of Schizophrenia” written in 1957, that is required reading for our residents even today. In another tribute to his incredible range and ability to speak cogently to seemingly everyone, his classic paper – “The Concept of Transference” – was republished in a collection of the 100 most important papers in psychoanalysis in the same month as his article on sex therapy appeared in Playboy!

Tom has 15 editorial appointments, over 40 biographical listings, and has received numerous prestigious awards. These include three honorary doctorates, an honorary membership in the The Society of Saints and Scholars – I thought he qualified on both counts! – and he is included in the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation Archives, which is a very select roster of immigrants who have made an exceptional contribution to this country over the past two hundred years.

While Tom’s global impact is bold and unquestioned, much less is said about his influence at home, in our Department. Let me tell you a short story. I have never been to a professional psychiatric meeting where at least one psychiatrist will come up and break the ice with “Oh, you are from Syracuse. Is Tom Szasz still there?” “Yes,” I reply (setting up the Rorshach moment). “How can you tolerate that man!” they ask. I enjoy watching their expression as I say, “Of course we don’t tolerate that man! We love having him here.” Tom, we do.

Tom, you have helped shape a Department that is unique, where intellectual honesty and rigor are paramount, where conflicts are not only tolerated but cherished. You have nudged us into being a University Department of Psychiatry in its truest and best sense and we are forever grateful to you for that. Your fame has put us on the map and helped attract some of our best residents and we are grateful to you for that. But what we treasure most are your gifts of warmth and wit and friendship over all these years. Now many of us cherish the evenings that you come to the Department, dressed as nattily as ever, a spring in your step and a twinkle in your eye as you excitedly talk of the latest headline, a cutting that Suzy sent you, a paper from George, the latest craziness of everyday life that you are currently writing about. I speak for all your students and colleagues over these many years when I say “Tom, you have our love, affection, admiration and respect. We envy you your amazing zest for life, your interest in everything big and small, -- and yes – your youthfulness!

I realize we should be giving you a birthday gift today but instead we are celebrating the intellectual treasures you have gifted us. Today, we wish you good health, many more scintillating books, time to enjoy your wonderful family, much more time in the Department (!), the chance to help select the first endowed Thomas Szasz Professor of Psychiatry and Law, and another very special get-together on April 15, 2020.

A very happy birthday Tom!

---Mantosh Dewan
April 15, 2000

Copyright 2000, Mantosh Dewan, M.D.

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