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The misconceptions about insanity

27th April 2012

Writing in the Lancet medical journal, Professor Simon Wessely of King’s College London has argued that such crimes as the Anders Breivik case illustrate the misconceptions the public has about mental illness.

He said the simplest responses to mass killings were that the perpetrators “must be mad” but said the way Breivik carried out the killings suggested otherwise and also that the idea that a psychiatric diagnosis could help people avoid punishment was wrong. Putting forward a mental illness defence in the UK could lead a person to spending more time behind bars than less.

 

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