Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Medical Center Hour- February 26, 2014

Wednesday, 26 February 2014
12:30-1:30 pm
Jordan Conference Center Auditorium
University of Virginia School of Medicine

History of the Health Sciences Lecture

Warren Kinghorn MD ThD
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Pastoral and Moral Theology, Duke University Medical Center and Duke Divinity School, Durham NC

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is perhaps the most contested document in American medicine, vital for the organization and funding of psychiatric research and mental health care yet perennially criticized both from within and beyond the mental health community. Heated debate accompanied the 2013 publication of the manual’s fifth edition, DSM-5. Critics charged that the new edition masks political interests—e.g., interests of psychiatrists and pharmaceutical companies—under the guise of science, at patients’ expense, while DSM-5 defenders championed the inclusiveness and transparency of the review process and evidence-base behind the manual’s diagnostic decisions. In this Medical Center Hour, psychiatrist and theologian Warren Kinghorn argues for a mediating alternative: that the DSM may be best understood as neither an apolitical “encyclopedia” of psychopathology nor a political cloak for psychiatric power but rather as a working document of a living moral tradition—in this case, the tradition of American psychiatry. Understanding psychiatry as a moral tradition, and psychiatric diagnosis as tradition-constituted discourse, allows for appreciation of the DSM as a useful scientific document that reflects the moral assumptions and convictions of the communities that created and continue to sustain it.
Co-presented with the History of the Health Sciences Lecture Series