Robert Freudenthal

Robert Freudenthal is a psychiatrist in London NHS mental health services.

The Medical Objectification of the Human Person

The pandemic has turbocharged this process of medical objectification. We are no longer individuals, with unique desires, responses, wishes and drives, but rather are primarily considered by policy makers to be infection risks. Once we are primarily objects, rather than diverse human beings, it then becomes legitimate for medical procedures to be mandated, mask wearing to be forced, or our movements to be tracked and traced.

The True Meaning of Masking

If we are people in a society with an authoritarian structure, where our ability to participate and do the things we wish to do every day are conditional on the approval of government, then our way of relating with power structures is no longer one of “We are all in partnership together” but one of “behavioural correction.” In such a system the mask becomes a tool for enacting that behavioural correction.

Psychiatry Will Not Save Us from Lockdown Harm

The solution to distress that is caused by closed services, missed education, lost income, poverty, debt, or coercive public health interventions is not to be found in psychiatric services – and particularly not in psychiatric services whose treatment options have been restricted to pharmacology only approaches.

The Religious Institutions Should Never Have Acquiesced to Lockdowns

At a time of crisis, such as during a pandemic, is exactly when such institutions are even more needed than ever, and when faced with uncertainty, many seek the comfort and support of religious institutions.Yet during the pandemic and the lockdowns, religious institutions were only too willing to shut themselves down, close their doors, and therefore abandon those that depended on them. 

The Forgotten Principles of the Risk Assessment

These principles can help risk assessments function as intended – as a tool to help individuals and communities evaluate risk and put in place targeted measures, to contain and ultimately reduce anxiety, and to move away from more performative measures that simply serve to entrench anxiety and cause harm, without any benefit.

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