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Szasz 80th birthday Symposium: "Liberty and/or Psychiatry?: 40 Years After The Myth of Mental Illness"

Jeffrey A. Schaler, Ph.D.
Suite 104, 1001 Spring Street, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910 USA
Telephone: 301.585.5664 - E-mail: jschale@american.edu

February 1, 2000 

You are invited to attend a special symposium in honor of Thomas S. Szasz's 80th birthday in Syracuse, New York on April 15th, 2000. The symposium is entitled "Liberty and/or Psychiatry?: 40 Years After The Myth of Mental Illness." Dr. Nelson Borelli and I are organizing this event, which will be held at the State University of New York, Health Science Center at Syracuse, Syracuse, New York, in the Weiskotten Auditorium, on Saturday, April 15, 2000, from 9:00 A.M. until 4:30 P.M. We've assembled an exceptional panel of speakers to comment on the impact of Tom's writings on psychiatry, medicine, law, and public policy since he wrote The Myth of Mental Illness forty years ago. 

Some of the issues we will address in this historic gathering include: Can we speak of liberty and psychiatry in the same sentence today without one contradicting the other? Is the therapeutic state increasing or decreasing since Tom warned us about it in Law, Liberty, and Psychiatry (1963)? What of the relationship between liberty and responsibility? What of the insanity defense? Involuntary commitment? "Psychotherapy?" "Biological" psychiatry? Has Tom's work made any difference-or is he still years ahead of his time? Is anyone listening? 

The "Szasz Symposium" will be an opportunity to listen to those persons who know Tom's work and ideas best. It will be an opportunity to dialogue with speakers and one another about these important ideas and more. We will celebrate the life and continuing work of a person who is still ahead of his time. It will be a time to celebrate with Tom, his colleagues, friends, and students. 

The confirmed speakers for the Szasz Symposium are: George J. Alexander, JSD (Santa Clara, CA), Nelson Borelli, MD (Chicago, IL), Donal T. Conley, MD (St. Augustine, FL), Robert W. Daly, MD (Dewitt, NY), John M. Friedberg, MD (Berkeley, CA), Abraham Halpern, MD (Mamaroneck, NY), Keith Hoeller, PhD (Seattle, WA), Zvi Lothane, MD (NY, NY), Ron Leifer, MD (Ithaca, NY), James C. Mancuso, PhD (Delmar, NY), Irwin Savodnik, MD, PhD (Torrance, CA), Jeffrey A. Schaler, PhD (Erdenheim, PA), Robert Seidenberg, MD (Fayetteville, NY), Anthony Stadlen, MLCP, BCP Reg, UKCP Reg (London, UK), Peter Swales (NY, NY), Richard Vatz, PhD (Towson, MD), and Roger Yanow (Syracuse, NY). Mantosh Dewan, MD, Eugene Kaplan, MD, and C.V. Haldipur, MD, all Professors of Psychiatry at the Health Science Center, are kindly assisting with arrangements. Andrea Millen Rich, President of LaissezFaire Books and the Center for Independent Thought (New York, NY), and creator of the annual Thomas Szasz Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Cause of Civil Liberties, is also assisting with the planning of this important event. 

Nelson and I are looking forward to seeing you at this exciting event! We know it's going to be a very special time together and we hope you will be able to attend. Please feel free to bring along members of your own family as well as friends. 

Sincerely yours, 

Jeffrey A. Schaler 


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