Pre-Meditated Murder, Not "Insanity": Thomas Szasz on the Tucson Massacre Reply

From The Freeman.

E. Fuller Torrey, a recognized expert on schizophrenic murderers, agrees. He refers to Loughner as “the alleged shooter” and states that he “is reported to have had symptoms associated with schizophrenia … and almost certainly was seriously mentally ill and untreated…. These tragedies are the inevitable outcome of five decades of failed mental-health policies.”

Torrey’s remedy for the problem of people being at liberty to commit crimes and suffer the consequences is intensifying the traditional legal-psychiatric practice of incarcerating innocent individuals and calling it “hospitalization” and “treatment” and even “suicide and crime prevention”: “The solution to this situation is obvious — make sure individuals with serious mental illnesses are receiving treatment. The mistake was not in emptying the nation’s hospitals but rather in ignoring the treatment needs of the patients being released…. Others are unaware they are sick and should be required by law to receive assisted outpatient treatment, including medication and counseling…  If they do not comply with the court-ordered treatment plan, they can and should be involuntarily admitted to a hospital.”

In contrast, Ashley Figueroa, a former girlfriend of Loughner, told ABC News that she remembers Loughner as “a drug user with a grudge against the government…. I think he’s faking everything…. I think that he has been planning this for some time.” A writer for Salon.com adds: “Figueroa is not a doctor, and these claims conflict with the opinion of top doctors in the field of psychiatry. (Dr. E. Fuller Torrey actually told Salon that Loughner looks like a ‘textbook’ case of paranoid schizophrenia.)”

True, Figueroa is not a “doctor.” Do we need to have a medical degree to diagnose a person we have never laid eyes on as schizophrenic? Does the fact that Figueroa knew Loughner, that they had a real-life human relationship, count for nothing?

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