January 10, 2012

Emboldened DSM-5 critics issue public challenge

In October, I reported on the Society for Humanistic Psychology's online petition urging the American Psychiatric Association to reconsider the mental illness expansions and biomedical emphasis proposed for its new diagnostic manual, due out in 2013.

Since then, the effort has taken off like wildfire. More than 10,000 people have signed the petition, and the fledgling Coalition for DSM-5 Reform has mushroomed to include 41 concerned mental health organizations in the United States, Britain and Denmark.

Now, the Coalition has posted an open letter calling upon the developers of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to submit controversial proposals in the DSM-5 to an independent group of scientists and scholars with no ties to either the DSM-5 Task Force or the American Psychiatric Association for an independent, external review.

"We respectfully ask that you not respond again with assurances about internal reviews and field trials because such assurances, at this point, are not sufficient," says the letter. "We believe an external, independent review is critical in terms of ensuring the proposed DSM-5 is safe and credible."

As the critics gain ground and the battle heats up, it will be very interesting to see how the beleaguered DSM-5 Task Force responds.

1 comment:

researcherone said...

Wow, this is fiery development. I look forward to reading the results of the external review, whenever such a review becomes available.

I am curious: Does the Coalition have the power to insist or force the DSM-5 developers to comply with its wishes? What are the possible responses to come out of all this?