Monday, November 09, 2009

It may be illegal to discriminate against critical psychiatrists

It may now be illegal to discrimate against critical psychiatrists following a ruling that environmentalism is a belief system (see Guardian report). If green beliefs can come under employment regulations on discrimination (although not in the sense of merely belonging to the Green party), then it may well be illegal to discriminate against a critical psychiatrist (although not just because they are a member of the Critical Psychiatry Network or some other group).

Critical psychiatry seems to fit the 5 tests set by Mr Justice Burton:-

 The belief must be genuinely held
 It must be a belief and not an opinion or view based on the present state of information available
 It must be a belief as to a weighty and substantial aspect of life
 It must attain a certain level of cogency, seriousness, cohesion and importance
 It must be worthy of respect in a democratic society, not incompatible with human dignity and not conflict with the fundamental right of others.

Critical psychiatrists have been discriminated against. Trainees are worried that if they express an interest in critical psychiatry, their careers will be affected. Somehow this perception has got to change. A few legal challenges may help.