Does Schizophrenia Exist? FREE debate in London, Wednesday 29 January 6pm
- Does Schizophrenia Exist?
FREE debate at the Maudsley Hospital, Institute of Psychiatry
Wednesday, 29 January, 6pm.
Refreshments (also free) at 5.30pm
Contact: (020) 7848 0787, email: maudsley.debates@...
This debate is open to all and attendees have an opportunity to vote before
and after the debate and contribute to the discussion.
NOTE: THIS DEBATE WILL BE AUDIOTAPED
SHORT DISCUSSION PAPER (summary below)
Both available on request - see below
The Wolfson Lecture Theatre
Institute of Psychiatry
King's College London, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF
Map and travel information: http://www.iop.kcl.ac.uk/IoP/where.shtml
Telephone: +44(0)20 7836 5454
Information from Professor Robin M Murray and Dr Kimberlie Dean about the
'SCHIZOPHRENIA - THE ULTIMATE DELUSION'
Motion: 'This house believes that schizophrenia does not exist'.
Date: Wednesday 29th January 2003 at 6pm. Refreshments available from
Venue: Wolfson Lecture Theatre, Institute of Psychiatry (address above)
Chair: Professor ROBIN MURRAY, Professor of Psychiatry at the Institute of
Supporting the motion:
Professor JIM VAN OS, Professor of Psychiatry at Maastrixht University, The
Netherlands, and Visiting Professor at the Institute of Psychiatry, London -
argues that the concept of schizophrenia is not only unhelpful but harmful.
Professor RICHARD BENTALL, Professor of Experimental Clinical Psychology,
University of Manchester - also supports the motion and believes that our
focus should be on symptoms which cause distress rather than disease
Opposing the motion:
Dr PETER MCKENNA, Consultant Psychiatrist, Cambridge - is an outspoken
advocate of the notion of schizophrenia which he believes has 'stood the
test of time'.
Professor ANTHONY DAVID, Professor of Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, Institute o
f Psychiatry, London - also opposes the motion as he favours the continuing
use of schizophrenia in clinical practice and research.
A Maudsley Discussion Paper is available on this topic.
(These short papers deal with controversial topics in mental health and aim
to stimulate discussion.)
DOES SCHIZOPHRENIA EXIST?
Paper No. 12
Jim Van Os & Peter McKenna
Institute of Psychiatry, King's College, London
Since the beginnings of medicine, physicians and their patients have assumed
that a doctor's ability to understand and alleviate illness relies on his
expertise in distinguishing between different conditions. In turn, this
process of diagnosis depends on the existence of an accepted system of
classifying the different conditions, which the doctor is likely to
encounter. Unfortunately, psychiatry has not kept pace with the advances in
understanding and classifying disorders which have occurred in other areas
Psychiatric diagnosis continues to rely on the clinician's ability to
recognise familiar patterns of symptoms and behaviour. For example, people
with severe mental illness continue to be divided into those with
schizophrenia and those with bipolar disorder on the basis of their history
and behaviour. This distinction began over 100 years ago with Emil
Kraepelin's (1896) differentiation of the disorder he termed 'dementia
praecox' (soon re-christened schizophrenia by Eugene Bleuler) from
manic-depression (the forerunner of today's bipolar disorder). The concept
of schizophrenia has changed little since the time of Kraepelin and we still
know little about the aetiology of the disorder.
The use of schizophrenia as a diagnostic entity is often said to have both
positive and negative aspects. This Discussion Paper sets out to review the
pros and cons of continuing to use the term, and indeed concept, of
schizophrenia. Jim Van Os, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of
Maastricht, Holland, and Peter McKenna, Consultant Psychiatrist in
Cambridge, are both highly distinguished psychiatrists. However, they have
opposing views about the value of the term schizophrenia.
Jim Van Os regards the schizophrenia concept as harmful in clinical practice
and research. He examines its impact in relation to factors such as:
clinical usage, user satisfaction, reliability, translation into treatment
needs, ability to account for psychological variables, stigmatisation,
prediction of outcome, and aetiological research. Peter McKenna is more
content with the traditional fare. He therefore takes the opposite position
and outlines the strengths of the concept. In his view, schizophrenia has
'stood the test of time' despite repeated attacks against it over the last
Order this paper from:
Mrs Sarah Smith
PO63, Division of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, De
Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK
Cheque or postal order for £ 4.00 per copy, payable to "King's College,
Audiotapes of this and all previous Maudsley debates are available from the
Media Support Unit
(each tape £20, cheque payable to "Kings College, London" - give date of
debate when ordering)
From Ms Cindy Smith at the Media Support Unit,
PO16, Institute of Psychiatry, De Crespigny Park, Denmark Hill, London SE5
Telephone: 020 7848 0326 Fax: 020 7848 0954
The voting outcome of the last Maudsley debate - on whether nurses and
psychologists should prescribe drugs (20 November) was very close and in
fact I abstained. Details of the speakers, etc, of this debate are on the
mentalmagazine discussion board at
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mentalmagazine/message/1962 and the audiotape
of the debate is available from the Media Support Unit (see above).
posted by rosemary
"Campaigning for good health & social care...it's for everyone"