28 Facts About Thomas Szasz


Thomas Stephen Szasz was a Hungarian-American academic and psychiatrist.


Thomas Szasz served for most of his career as professor of psychiatry at the State University of New York Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York.


Thomas Szasz maintained throughout his career that he was not anti-psychiatry but rather that he opposed coercive psychiatry.


Thomas Szasz was a staunch opponent of civil commitment and involuntary psychiatric treatment, but he believed in and practiced psychiatry and psychotherapy between consenting adults.


Thomas Szasz was born to Jewish parents Gyula and Lily Thomas Szasz on April 15,1920, in Budapest, Hungary.


In 1962, Thomas Szasz received a tenured position in medicine at the State University of New York.


Thomas Szasz ended his own life on September 8,2012.


Thomas Szasz argued for the right to suicide in his writings.


Thomas Szasz first presented his attack on "mental illness" as a legal term in 1958 in the Columbia Law Review.


In 1961, Thomas Szasz testified before a United States Senate Committee, arguing that using mental hospitals to incarcerate people defined as insane violated the general assumptions of the patient-doctor relationship, and turned the doctor into a warden and keeper of a prison.


Thomas Szasz was convinced there was a metaphorical character to mental disorders, and its uses in psychiatry were frequently injurious.


Thomas Szasz set himself a task to delegitimize legitimating agencies and authorities, and what he saw as their vast powers, enforced by psychiatrists and other mental health professionals, mental health laws, mental health courts, and mental health sentences.


Thomas Szasz was a critic of the influence of modern medicine on society, which he considered to be the secularization of religion's hold on humankind.


Thomas Szasz thought that psychiatry actively obscures the difference between behavior and disease in its quest to help or harm parties in conflicts.


Thomas Szasz maintained that, by calling people diseased, psychiatry attempts to deny them responsibility as moral agents in order to better control them.


Thomas Szasz called schizophrenia "the sacred symbol of psychiatry" because those so labeled have long provided and continue to provide justification for psychiatric theories, treatments, abuses, and reforms.


The figure of the psychotic or schizophrenic person to psychiatric experts and authorities, according to Thomas Szasz, is analogous with the figure of the heretic or blasphemer to theological experts and authorities.


Thomas Szasz mentions malingering in many of his works, but it is not what he has in mind to explain many other manifestations of so-called "mental illness".


Thomas Szasz believed that if we accept that "mental illness" is a euphemism for behaviors that are disapproved of, then the state has no right to force psychiatric "treatment" on these individuals.


Thomas Szasz argued that all these categories of people were taken as scapegoats of the community in ritual ceremonies.


Thomas Szasz considered suicide to be among the most fundamental rights, but he opposed state-sanctioned euthanasia.


Thomas Szasz believed that testimony about the mental competence of a defendant should not be admissible in trials.


Thomas Szasz criticized the war on drugs, arguing that using drugs is in fact a victimless crime.


Thomas Szasz drew analogies between the persecution of the drug-using minority and the persecution of Jewish and homosexual minorities.


Thomas Szasz served on CCHR's Board of Advisors as Founding Commissioner.


Thomas Szasz was a strong critic of institutional psychiatry and his publications were very widely read.


Thomas Szasz argued that so-called mental illnesses had no underlying physiological basis, but were unwanted and unpleasant behaviors.


Thomas Szasz's ideas had little influence on mainstream psychiatry, but were supported by some behavioral and social scientists.