The concept of truth in psychiatry - Baroness Warnock - Tuesday 17 April 2018

- 3:30 pm - March 14th, 2018


I would want to raise the general question of the value that attaches to the concept of truth in a clinical psychiatric case. There was a time, a few years ago, when it was fashionable to say that one ought to treat people with dementia by playing along with their false beliefs (e.g. that their spouse had only just died when he had been dead for years). This always seemed to me patronising, and humiliating. Presumably, in most cases of delusional beliefs, psychiatrists aim to establish the truth, or at least the falsity of the delusion. But I would like to raise the question whether the pursuit of truth would be generally agreed to form an important part of the pursuit of mental health, and how it would rate with other values pursued by psychiatry.