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A role for philosophers, sociologists and bioethicists in revising the DSM a philosophical case conference
journal contributionposted on 2017-09-01, 00:00 authored by Tamara BrowneTamara Browne
© 2017 by Johns Hopkins University Press. The recent publication of the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) was accompanied by heated debate. I argue that part of the reason for these recent controversies is that the process of DSM revision involves making certain value judgments, yet requires a better means for explicitly and expertly addressing these issues. It is important to do so because a) there are certain value-laden questions that science cannot answer but nevertheless need to be addressed in psychiatric classification, and b) the effects of psychiatric classification stretch far and wide. I suggest a means by which the value judgments involved in psychiatric classification can be more systematically and comprehensively exam-ined—by including an independent ethics review panel in the revision process. An ethics review panel could include bioethicists, sociologists, and philosophers of psychiatry who would be in a better position to address these issues.