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Publication History
Should Neuroleptic Drugs Be Banned?

After Should Neuroleptic Drugs Be Banned? was presented at the World Federation of Mental Health Conference in Copenhagen in August 1984 and printed in the Proceedings of that conference, it has been reprinted a number of times, often by organizations of ex-patients and by advocates for patients. For example, Karl Bach Jensen in Denmark and Peter Lehman in Berlin, who many years later became the second and the third president of The European Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (, translated the article to Danish (ref. 5, below) and to German (ref. 4, below).

Sadly, however, these views are virtually banned from the psychiatric literature. Why is it that experiences, facts, arguments, and views that are passionately validated and embraced by intelligent patients with personal knowledge of these drugs are ignored by psychiatrists? Why are leading psychiatrists not regarded as patient advocates by knowledgeable ex-patients (such as Jensen, Lehman, and Hebriana See interview on this site).  Why do psychiatrists not even take the opportunity to enter into dialogue with patients?

It is hard to escape the conclusion that psychiatry is in essence more a repressive and censoring institution than a self-critical scientific discipline or a branch of medicine that aims to serve the true interests of patients.

Nevertheless, these views have occasionally echoed in the pharmacologic and in the psychiatric literature. Thus the title Should Neuroleptic Drugs be Banned? was borrowed as the heading of a new chapter in the 9th edition of the German psychiatric textbook by Professor A. Finzen, Medikamentenbehandlung bei psychischen Storungen (Bonn, 1991). The title Should Neuroleptic Drugs be Banned? was also borrowed as the heading of a "special review" by the editor of Side Effects of Drugs Annual 10, 1986 (p. 49-50). When that volume was reviewed in the British medical journal The Lancet (Sept. 6, 1986, p. 588), the reviewer noted that "Dr. M. N. G. Dukes almost comes around to agreeing that neuroleptic drugs should be banned."

1. Sweden, 1985, reprinted as a booklet by RSMH-Malmo (Association of mental patients in the city of Malmo), Bergsgatan 12 B, SE-21154 Malmo, Sweden.

2. Sweden, 1985, printed in edited and abbreviated form as a series of articles in the leading Swedish newspaper the Dagens Nyheter, DN Debatt, August 23, August 24, August 25.

3. USA, 1986, reprinted as a booklet by Psychiatric Survivors of Western Massachusetts, P.O.Box 60845, Longmeadow, MA 01116.

4. West Berlin, 1986, German translation by Peter Lehmann and Hartmut Zulch, Sollen Neuroleptika verboten werden? published in Die Irrenoffensive, Nr. 3.

5. Denmark, 1988, Danish translation based on the articles in the Dagens Nyheter by Karl Bach Jensen  Uden hjernen dor skoven published in the book Hjernemedicin, Amalie, Copenhagen.

6. Switzerland, 1988, French translation by Dr Barthold Bierens de Haan, Faut-il interdire les neuroleptiques? published in Psychiatrie et Responsabilite, Mouvement Les Sans-Voix, Geneva.

7. Switzerland, 1988, German translation reprinted by Pro Mente Sana, in PMS Aktuell 3/88.

8. Switzerland, 1989, Le medecin praticien et les neuroleptiques. Faut-il interdire les neuroleptiques? Dr. Barthold Bierens de Haan, abridged and edited reprint in Courrier du Medecin vaudois.

9. Switzerland. 1990. Les Neuroleptiques, it faut les interdires. Abridged and edited reprint by Le Temps Strategique, Geneva.

10. USA, 1991, abridged and edited reprint in the book Cry of the Invisible, Ed. Michael A Susko, The Conservatory Press, Baltimore, Md.

11. France, 1992, Neuroleptiques: Une lobotomie chimique. Abridged and edited reprint in Le Lien, avril 1992.

12. Switzerland, 1998, in the book Deprived of Our Humanity, Mouvement Les Sans-Voix (The Voiceless Movement), Geneva.

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