Jeffrey A. Schaler, Ph.D.

Department of Justice, Law and Society
School of Public Affairs
The American University

Fall 2000
Wednesdays, 11:20 P.M. to 2:00 P.M.
Ward 205

Faculty:  Dr. Jeffrey A. Schaler
Office:  Dept. of Justice, Law, and Society, 
Ward Building, 2nd Floor
Telephone:  (301) 585-5664 in Silver Spring, Md.
Office hours:  (by appointment)

Course Description
     "They say that freedom is a constant struggle," sang 
the Mississippi "freedom fighters" during the Civil Rights 
movement in the 1960s.  Today, there are less visible 
struggles for freedom, yet they are no less constant.  One 
concerns the right to be left alone--the liberty of 
individual autonomy against the restraint of government 
authoritarianism.  Is it constitutional for government to 
protect citizens from themselves and deprive them of liberty 
in the process? 

     Freedom of and from religion were dear to Thomas 
Jefferson and James Madison.  The First Amendment was 
written to separate church and state and serves to protect 
against those who would deprive us of liberty in the name of 
religion.  According to some influential writers over the 
past 40 years, psychiatry now replaces religion and is used 
by government to justify paternalism, that is, it is used to 
deprive citizens of liberty.  For example, behaviors 
formerly considered "good" and "bad" are now labeled as 
medical signs of "mental health" and "mental illness."  
Psychiatrists are empowered by the state to restore 
liberty and autonomy in those persons considered "mentally 
ill"--even if those labeled sick don't want to be "cured."  
Thus, do have what has come to be known as "the therapeutic 
state" (a term created by Szasz).  To what extent (if at 
all) has institutional psychiatry, that is, psychiatry 
sanctioned by the state, replaced the religious tyranny 
Jefferson and Madison worked so hard to protect us against?  

     Suicide (not "physician-assisted suicide") is considered
one of the most controversial and taboo topics for discussion
today.  Is suicide a symptom of "mental illness?"  Does a person
have a right to die?   If the Constitution guarantees our right to life, 
liberty and property, doesn't it also guarantee our right to 
self-destruction and death?  How might government 
authoritarianism evolve to ultimately deprive citizens of 
individualism and liberty in this situation?  Might such 
policies ultimately lead to a totalitarian society?  When, 
if ever, is such deprivation of liberty constitutionally 

     In this course we examine the answers to those and 
related questions.  We will discuss and examine the political,
and ethical issues involved in the right to suicide.
We will study how the Nazis used medical rhetoric to justify 
persecution and murder in the name of public health.  
We will discuss the ways government deprives 
individuals of liberty in a free society by focusing on 
the relationship between liberty and responsibility, 
psychiatry and government, and most important, the origins 
of totalitarianism according to F.A. Hayek's critique of 
socialism and collectivism.  Your life is going to 
change as a result of taking this course.  Lecture and discussion format.

     DEPRIVATION OF LIBERTY is one of the courses in 
Curricular Area 4, Social Institutions and Behavior, in the 
university's General Education Program.  This course is 
taken as part of a two-course sequence.  The foundation 
courses preceding it include Individuals and Organizations 
(54.105), Psychology:  Understanding Human Behavior 
(57.105), and Justice in America (73.100).  DEPRIVATION OF 
LIBERTY explores in more depth a topic introduced in those 
three foundation courses.  

Course Objectives
1.  To improve the student's legal, philosophical and 
policy-oriented thinking about liberty in a constitutional 
2.  To evaluate the values, costs, and logic of the ways in 
which classes of people (e.g., drug users and those labeled 
as mentally ill) are defined as dangerous to themselves and 
others and deprived of liberty.
3.  To explore the social, economic and political origins of 
totalitarianism and their relationship to authoritarian and 
paternalistic government policies in the US today.
4.  To understand the meaning of "the therapeutic state" and 
what happens in involuntary treatment for mental illness and 
drug addiction;  the structure and function of the insanity 
defense;  and deprivations of due process via psychiatric 
5.  To understand the basic principles of public policy 
based in classical liberalism and collectivism.
6.  To develop skill in debating controversial legal and 
public policy issues.

Required Texts
Hayek, F.A.  (1994).  The road to serfdom.  Chicago:  The 
     University of Chicago Press. 
Proctor, R.N.  (1999).  The Nazi war on cancer.  Princeton, 
     N.J.:  Princeton University Press.
Szasz, T.S.  (1999).  Fatal freedom:  The ethics and 
     politics of suicide.  Westport, CT:  Praeger Publishers.
Szasz, T.S.  (1997)  Insanity:  The idea and its 
     consequences.  Syracuse, N.Y.:  Syracuse University 

Course Requirements and Grades 
Mid-term examination               30%
Final examination                  35%
Paper                              25%
Class participation                10%

                          Total = 100%

     Write an 8 to 10 page paper on any contemporary issue 
you believe involves the deprivation of liberty.  Focus on 
the relationship between the individual and state.  Include 
principles we've covered in class.  State the problem, as 
you see it, clearly.  Differentiate between fact and your 
opinion.  You're encouraged to express your opinion, just 
make sure you articulate the difference between fact and 
opinion.  Discuss a solution to this problem.  Describe 
possible problems created by your solution.  Typed.  Double-
spaced.  References as on this syllabus.  We will talk more 
about this in class.

-->  Clear and accurate writing will be taken into account in 
assigning grades, as well as participation in class 
discussions.  Material discussed in class, or in films, 
and not in any of the readings, may form the basis for 
questions on the examinations.  One grade reduction for 
over three class absences.  Students are responsible 
for anything covered in class during their absence.  
Readings must be completed by the session to which they are 
assigned.  Additional readings may be assigned during the 
course.  Students are encouraged to form study groups on 
their own.  Grades:  A-=90, B+=89, B-=80, C+=79, C-=70, etc.  
If you're having trouble with this course make an 
appointment to talk about it.

Academic Integrity Code

"Standards of academic conduct are set forth in
the University's Academic Integrity Code.  It is expected that 
all examinations, tests, written papers, and other assignments 
will be completed according to the standards set forth 
in this code.  By registering, you have acknowledged your 
awareness of the Academic Integrity Code, and you are 
obliged to become familiar with your rights and 
responsibilities as defined by the Code.  Violations of the 
Academic Integrity Code will not be treated lightly, and 
disciplinary action will be taken should such violations 
occur.  Please see me if you have any questions about the 
academic violations described in the Code in general or as 
they relate to particular requirements for this course."

Date Topic Reading August 30 Introduction to the therapeutic state Szasz Psychiatry as Science Psychiatry as Social Institution September 6 Psychiatry and the Criminal Law Psychiatry and Constitutional Rights Psychiatry and Public Policy September 13 Speaking of Suicide; Szasz, FF, 1-3 Constructing Suicide; Excusing Suicide September 20 Preventing Suicide; Szasz, FF 4-7 Prescribing Suicide; Perverting Suicide; Rethinking Suicide September 27 Film October 4 Mid-term examination October 11 Hueper's Secret Proctor The Gleichschaltung of German Cancer Research October 18 Genetic and Racial Theories Occupational Carcinogenesis October 25 The Nazi Diet The Campaign against Tobacco November 1 The Monstrous and the Prosaic November 8 Individualism and Collectivism Hayek Central Planning, Planning and Rule of Law November 15 Why the worst get on top November 22 Thanksgiving Break November 29 Papers due December 6 Lecture, discussion: Film December 20 Final exam 11:20a - 1:50p