Abstract

ABSTRACT:

The psychiatric diagnosis of psychopathic personality—or psychopathy—signifies a patient stereotype with a callous lack of empathy and strong antisocial tendencies. Throughout the research record and psychiatric practices, diagnosed psychopaths have been predominantly seen as immune to psychiatric intervention and treatment, making the diagnosis a potentially strong discriminator for treatment amenability. In this contribution, the evidence in support of this proposition is critically analyzed. It is demonstrated that the untreatability perspective rests largely on erroneous, unscientific conclusions. Instead, recent research suggests that practitioners should be more optimistic about the possibility of treating and rehabilitating diagnosed psychopaths. In light of this finding, concrete ethical challenges in the forensic practice surrounding the psychopathy diagnosis are discussed, adding to a growing body of research that expresses skepticism about the forensic utility of the diagnosis.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3249
Print ISSN
1054-6863
Pages
pp. 243-272
Launched on MUSE
2019-10-23
Open Access
No
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