Loren Mosher

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: (Published 19 August 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:463

Psychiatrist who espoused drug-free treatment for schizophrenia

The US psychiatrist Loren Mosher spent his entire professional career seeking more humane and effective treatment for people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. This caused him to be cast as a maverick and to be marginalised by mainstream psychiatry.

As an advocate for patients' rights Mosher took an approach that was derived from the “moral treatment” of mentally ill people, a tradition characterised by Philippe Pinel when he removed the chains from the men held in the Bicêtre Hospital in Paris in 1797.

Mosher started a heated debate when he publicly resigned in 1998 from the American Psychiatric Association (APA)—which he called the American Psychopharmaceutical Association—charging that “psychiatry has been almost completely bought out by the drug companies.”

An honours graduate of Harvard University, Mosher served from 1968 to 1980 as the first chief of the Center for Studies of Schizophrenia of the National Institutes of Mental Health. He was the founder and first editor in chief of Schizophrenia Bulletin, and he coauthored the textbook Community Mental Health: Principles and Practice …

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