Phil Drietz makes an insightful point in his letter on June 16, stating that the American Psychiatric Association's (APA) decision to remove homosexuality from the second edition of the Diagnostics and Statistics Manual of Mental Disorders, known as the DSM II, was politically-motivated. As the APA finalizes the revisions to the DSM 5, we must consider the implications of past and potential changes to the document that determines the degree to which mental maladies range.
The document that provides the standard for which to judge normalcy (i.e. sanity) from a scientific perspective is of general societal relevance. The open drafts of the DSM 5 generated almost 11,000 responses by 2011. Public interest topics should be open to public debate.
The DSM has been the standard for exclusion from society. In other words, it is the objective basis for undermining the autonomy of - less sane - individuals.
No single document should be the determining factor for any individual's state of mind and functionality-and thus value-in society.
(Note: The Independent only prints letters submitted from outside our coverage area when they involve local issues or are in response to letters that have been published in the Independent.)