Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Royal College of Psychiatrists spirituality group chairman thinks Demons can cause mental disorder

In 1976, two Bavarian priests were convicted of negligent homicide in the case of 23-year-old Anneliese Michel, an epileptic who died after her treatment was discontinued in favor of exorcism.

It's nice to know that such potential is still alive and well in the UK. I previously blogged about an article appearing on the Christian Medical Fellowship's website advocating that doctors should consider demonic possession as a differential diagnosis in mental disorder. It was picked up on by Iain Brassington at the excellent Journal of Medical Ethics blog.

At the time I didn't realise that the author held office. The article was written by Prof. Chris Cook, who is now the Chairman of The Royal College of Psychiatrists' Spirituality and Psychiatry Special Interest Group. He's a consultant psychiatrist who still works for Tees, Esk & Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust. Is it only mental disorder, or are other disorders caused by demons, such as hypertension or diabetes? It's one thing when society stigmatises mentally disordered persons, but quite another when members of the medical profession do so.


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