For all the good work and intentions of APA representatives on the World
Psychiatric Association (WPA), it seems that the latter body hasn't learned
from past experience:
Those who served on the WPA during the years that psychiatric abuse of both
patients and psychiatrists was taking place in the former Soviet Union learned
that the higher echelons of Soviet psychiatry were in fact either apologists
for the state, lacked the courage to oppose the abuses, or were active
participants in the abuse. The infamous diagnosis of "sluggish
schizophrenia" is a classic example of how far eminent Soviet
psychiatrists were prepared to go to cover the abuses.
Now in China we see the emergence of the diagnosis of "quigong
psychosis" to validate the psychiatric treatment and incarceration of
the practitioners of Falun Gong and political dissidents.
The abusive use of psychiatry in China cannot occur without the compliance
of Chinese psychiatrists. Regrettably, we cannot punish the state without
punishing Chinese psychiatry. This lesson was hard won from the Soviet
experience. There are times when it is indeed better to be cruel in the
present to be kind in the long run. We, as an association, need to demand that
the WPA actively pursue the requirements it expected of Chinese psychiatry at
the International Congress in Yokohama, with the understanding that expulsion
will follow if they fail to fulfill those requirements (Psychiatric
News, November 1, 2002). Collegial discussions and scientific meetings
will not suffice.