“The “Ethics” of Psychiatry
By Colin Taufer
May 2017

What is and isn’t ethical is easily understood. While everyone may not be able to give a dictionary-perfect definition of ethics, every one of us knows fundamentally that if someone is ethical they know right from wrong and can and will act accordingly. More fundamentally, if someone is ethical they are truthful; truthful to themselves and others. They represent themselves honestly.

When studying any subject to try to understand its fundamentals and what it stands for ethically, the best place to start is the name itself. “Psychiatry” comes from the mid 19th century and is derived from the Greek psukhē meaning “soul”, and iatreia meaning “healing”. Thus, we get psychiatry defined, at its most basic meaning, as the healing of the soul. Using this definition as our starting point for an examination of the ethics of psychiatry makes it clear that the practice of psychiatry is fundamentally unethical.

To begin, psychiatrists, by survey, are less religious than nonpsychiatric physicians. The same survey indicates tensions between psychiatry and religion that shape the interactions between the two realms. Such tensions are represented by Freud, the father of psychotherapy, who referred to religion as an illusion and a neurosis. When our least religious doctors are the ones responsible for the “healing” of our souls, there is a fundamental ethical problem.

When examining psychiatry and its purported ability to “heal”, we encounter the second fundamental problem with the ethics of psychiatry. Put bluntly, psychiatry doesn’t heal. The act of healing is the act of making one sound and healthy again.

Psychiatry, in actual fact, doesn’t heal. In the words Psychiatrist Rex Crowdy, director of the National Institute of Mental Health in 1995, “We do not know the causes [of any mental illness]. We don’t have the methods of ‘curing’ these illnesses yet.” This is a sobering admission considering institutional psychiatry has been around since the early 1800s.

Today, psychiatric “healing” (powerful drugs and shocks) consists of therapies that deaden emotion, numb feeling, create amnesia and dull perception. In the eyes of the psychiatrist, these are improvements. This is psychiatric “healing”.

Search the topic of ethics on the American Psychiatric Association website and you’ll find still more examples of the dishonesty of this cruel profession. My first attempt to do so lead me to an article on the site’s “Ethics Corner” page titled “An Ethical Response to Mass Shootings”. Here the author claims that none of the recent headline-grabbing shootings of recent years involved shooters who had been hospitalized for psychiatric treatment. This is an outright lie! It is not hard to disprove the claim.

I chose one random incident, the Aurora movie theater shooting that claimed the lives of twelve and wounded seventy, and easily debunked the psychiatric lie. As reported in the mainstream press, the shooter in this incident told his psychiatrist four months before the killings that he had “homicidal thoughts” as often as three or four times a day and as his treatment progressed his obsession for killing was only getting worse. His “treatment” included the mind-altering and hypnotic psych drugs Zoloft and Klonopin, which he was on when he destroyed the lives of hundreds.

Psychiatry, despite what it claims, does not heal the soul. In fact, it does the exact opposite cruelly, painfully and heartlessly. This is the “ethics” of psychiatry.

Colin Taufer

Colin Taufer


Welcome to my monthly column. I am a career educator, writer and lifelong advocate for human rights. With each article, I hope to shine a light into the dark world of psychiatry to make stronger champions of human rights, to stir into action, to enlighten. As always, I appreciate feedback from readers. I can be reached at Colin@PsychSearch.net