sábado, 7 de abril de 2007

Psychiatrie und Ethik

This is a remarkable website. I was very impressed by Wilcocks when I first read his Maelzel's Chess Player (his remarks about Shoshana Felman were what my friend Martin Brown would call a scream). Access to this website is a must for "Freud-bashers" of any ilk, past, present and to-be.

Psychiatrie und Ethik

jueves, 5 de abril de 2007

On suicidal pacts

I have just seen an elderly woman, aged 77 or more, who has survived the death of her husband (by suffocation/asphyxia?). It appears that she also tried to take her life by swallowing a considerable amount of benzodiazepines (the public in general still believe that they are narcotics and continue using this term). Had I been working in England I would have had to call for a MHA assessment with another doctor (her GP) and an ASW (approved social worker); the whole process would have complicated the situation tremendously. As I now work in Spain, I took the unilateral decision of admitting her into hospital involuntarily (for more information of the equivalent of the Mental Health Act in Spain, click here). However, was it legal to do this or, even better, was it ethical? I really do not know... she appeared to be compos mentis. On the other hand, I believe that it was the only sensible thing to do... the risk of her taking her life was too high.

miércoles, 4 de abril de 2007

Changing to English

After talking to a patient today, who told me that his blog was in Engish, I decided to switch to this language. First, this is going to keep my English finely honed and second, there is an element of publish or perish; in reality, I have the narcissistic fear that if I do not write in English then I am not going to be read.

In terms of what is happening, I am concerned with the proximity of that very Spanish phenomenon called "Oposiciones." This refers to an exam in which my professional future will be decided for ever (!). Whoa! this is heavy... and close to the notion of tenure in USA and Canadian universities. In the UK, if you are a consultant psychiatrist, you made it! and there isn't a need to prolong this agony of getting some sort of safety net under your job forever...

I have not mentioned before (or have I?) that our Service is organizing an international meeting on Trauma and Mental Health. The reason for mentioning this now is that this topic/theme is fashionable; up to such an extent that it pervades anything and everything in psychiatry. No steps can be given without encountering the word/concept trauma... Certainly this too excessive. I hope to devote more time to this issue in the future.

In terms of what I have been reading recently, I am busy with a quasi-pulp novel, by Paul Malmont, dedicated to heroes of my childhood/adolescence. It was nostalgic (?) to meet again with Doc Savage (who I preferred over The Shadow). For those of my age who enjoyed Buscema's Doc Savage, I recommend this novel wholeheartedly.