Mental Illness: It’s a Disorder, not a Decision

By Brian & Ronald
In which Brian & Ronald explore the legal, epistemological and moral limitations of the abstractions involved with diagnosing individuals with diagnoses of “mental illness.”  This audio essay was created in the context of a philosophy of science course (winter 2017).

Reflections by this episode’s creators

“This project aims to spark conversation and increase awareness and education for people experiencing mental illness. People don’t voluntarily choose to experience mental illness but rather the symptoms (and diagnoses associated with symptoms) are sparked by phenomena including chemical (im)balances, genetics, trauma or other seeming anomalies.  This audio essay’s objective is to encourage conversation and reduce stigma against marginalized individuals and populations.”

Thanks to Accelerated Ideas for the Lightshowers Track.

Suggestions for further reading:

To learn more about the categorization of an action as “criminal”:  Barnhorst, R. & Barnhorst, S. (2013). Criminal Law and the Canadian Criminal Code (6th ed.). Toronto, ON: McGraw-Hill Ryerson.

To read about the section of the Criminal Code about the defense of mental disorders: Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c.46, s.16(1).

For more information about the case of Vince Li:  CBC News. (2017). Vince Li, Given Absolute Discharge

For more about a case in which dozens of patients are misdiagnosed with Altzheimers:  Seewer, J. (2017). Ohio Clinic falsely Told Dozens They Had Alzheimer’s, Lawsuits

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