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Maudsley Debate

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  • Bob Axford
    Hi all I made it to the debate at the Maudsley. The Central Line being out of action made it somewhat more difficult but fortunately I am not far from Ilford
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 29, 2003
      Hi all

      I made it to the debate at the Maudsley. The Central Line being out of action made it somewhat more difficult but fortunately I am not far from Ilford and mainline trains into Liverpool Street.

      I arrived ten minutes before the scheduled start and was one of the last people let in as the lecture theatre was full - quite a number of people must have been disappointed which shows the interest there was in this debate.

      The motion:
      'This house believes that schizophrenia does not exist.'

      Chair: Professor Robin Murray, Professor of Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, London

      Supporting the motion:
      Professor Jim Van Os, Professor of Psychiatry at Maastricht University
      Professor Richard Bentall, Professor of Experimental Clinical Psychology, University of Manchester

      Opposing the motion:
      Dr Peter McKenna, Consultant Psychiatrist, Cambridge
      Professor Anthony David, Professor Anthony David, Professor of Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, London

      Before and after the debate a vote was taken:

      Before:
      For the motion 86
      Against the motion 134
      Abstentions/undecided 44

      After:
      For the motion 97
      Against the motion 97
      Abstentions/undecided 49

      Notes:
      1. Some people left before the final vote.
      2. Each speaker had seven minutes and there was half an hours discussion at the end with audience participation.
      3. The chair declined to use his casting vote saying that he was undecided.
      4. There was a quite a big swing indicating that proponents of the motion swayed quite a few people.
      5. Prof. Murray defined the essence of the debate as being: the fact that people have symptoms is not in dispute but is it valuable to diagnose?

      I suppose everyone came away with different things in what was a session packed with ideas and viewpoints.

      The proponents of the motion talked about the need for care being important not the diagnosis. Scales for positive, negative, affective, cognitive and motor skills were mentioned and it was proposed that these should take the place of diagnoses. Treatment could be based on symptoms.

      A study which indicated that 30% of Americans were deluded was raised but the counter argument was put that it was only a small minority for whom the delusions were distressing and preoccupying. I think that the proposition that there is a continuum of increasing severity of symptoms may have been accepted and that differing diagnostic systems will have different thresholds for making a diagnosis. Opponents of the motion maintained that the systems of diagnosis were robust and useful enough and supported by studies whilst proponents characterised it as flawed. In particular studies which showed distinct separate groupings of people with symptoms of schizophrenia and mania were contradicted by those which showed a continuum.

      A thread running through the discussion was just what ugly connotations the word 'schizophrenia' had and people would be better off without the diagnosis. Set against this were certain practical problems of what to tell the social security or the judge and jury in a case like the Christopher Clunis one. Would talking about having 'care needs' provide someone with sufficient protection, aid recovery and avoid stigma? A lot of the audience seemed to be convinced.

      Bob



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • David Hutchinson
      Bob, I was unable to be there and was interested to get a good summary and the result. You efforts are really appreciated. David H ...
      Message 2 of 2 , Jan 30, 2003
        Bob,

        I was unable to be there and was interested to get a
        good summary and the result. You efforts are really
        appreciated.

        David H


        --- Bob Axford <axford@...> wrote:
        <HR>
        <html><body>


        <tt>
        Hi all<BR>
        <BR>
        I made it to the debate at the Maudsley.  The
        Central Line being out of action made it somewhat more
        difficult but fortunately I am not far from Ilford and
        mainline trains into Liverpool Street.<BR>
        <BR>
        I arrived ten minutes before the scheduled start and
        was one of the last people let in as the lecture
        theatre was full - quite a number of people must have
        been disappointed which shows the interest there was
        in this debate.<BR>
        <BR>
        The motion:<BR>
            'This house believes that
        schizophrenia does not exist.'<BR>
        <BR>
        Chair: Professor Robin Murray, Professor of Psychiatry
        at the Institute of Psychiatry, London<BR>
        <BR>
        Supporting the motion:<BR>
        Professor Jim Van Os, Professor of Psychiatry at
        Maastricht University<BR>
        Professor Richard Bentall, Professor of Experimental
        Clinical Psychology, University of Manchester<BR>
        <BR>
        Opposing the motion:<BR>
        Dr Peter McKenna, Consultant Psychiatrist,
        Cambridge<BR>
        Professor Anthony David, Professor Anthony David,
        Professor of Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, Institute of
        Psychiatry, London<BR>
        <BR>
        Before and after the debate a vote was taken:<BR>
        <BR>
        Before:<BR>
            For the
        motion               
        86<BR>
            Against the
        motion        
        134<BR>
           
        Abstentions/undecided     44<BR>
        <BR>
        After:<BR>
            For the
        motion                
        97<BR>
            Against the
        motion          
        97<BR>
           
        Abstentions/undecided     49<BR>
        <BR>
        Notes:<BR>
        1. Some people left before the final vote.<BR>
        2. Each speaker had seven minutes and there was half
        an hours discussion at the end with audience
        participation.<BR>
        3. The chair declined to use his casting vote saying
        that he was undecided.<BR>
        4. There was a quite a big swing indicating that
        proponents of the motion swayed quite a few
        people.<BR>
        5.  Prof. Murray defined the essence of the
        debate as being: the fact that people have symptoms is
        not in dispute but is it valuable to diagnose?<BR>
        <BR>
        I suppose everyone came away with different things in
        what was a session packed with ideas and
        viewpoints.  <BR>
        <BR>
        The proponents of the motion talked about the need for
        care being important not the diagnosis.  Scales
        for positive, negative, affective, cognitive and motor
        skills were mentioned and it was proposed that these
        should take the place of diagnoses.  Treatment
        could be based on symptoms.<BR>
        <BR>
        A study which indicated that 30% of Americans were
        deluded was raised but the counter argument was put
        that it was only a small minority for whom the
        delusions were distressing and preoccupying.  I
        think that the proposition that there is a continuum
        of increasing severity of symptoms may have been
        accepted and that differing diagnostic systems will
        have different thresholds for making a
        diagnosis.  Opponents of the motion maintained
        that the systems of diagnosis were robust and useful
        enough and supported by studies whilst proponents
        characterised it as flawed.  In particular
        studies which showed distinct separate groupings of
        people with symptoms of schizophrenia and mania were
        contradicted by those which showed a continuum.<BR>
        <BR>
        A thread running through the discussion was just what
        ugly connotations the word 'schizophrenia' had and
        people would be better off without the
        diagnosis.  Set against this were certain
        practical problems of what to tell the social security
        or the judge and jury in a case like the Christopher
        Clunis one.  Would talking about having 'care
        needs' provide someone with sufficient protection, aid
        recovery and avoid stigma?  A lot of the audience
        seemed to be convinced.<BR>
        <BR>
        Bob<BR>
        <BR>
        <BR>
        <BR>
        [Non-text portions of this message have been
        removed]<BR>
        <BR>
        </tt>

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