Quote of the week

My colleagues and I often care for patients suffering from hallucinations, prophesying, and claiming to speak with God, among other symptoms—in mental health care, it’s sometimes very difficult to tell apart religious belief from mental illness…. Our conclusions frequently stem from the behaviors we see before us. Take an example of a man who walks into an emergency department, mumbling incoherently. He says he’s hearing voices in his head, but insists there’s nothing wrong with him. He hasn’t used any drugs or alcohol. If he were to be evaluated by mental health professionals, there’s a good chance he might be diagnosed with a psychotic disorder like schizophrenia. But what if that same man were deeply religious? What if his incomprehensible language was speaking in tongues?

Nathaniel P.Morris
Scientific American
28 September 2009

Very serious, however, is the respondents’ dishonest conduct of the proceedings. Instead of dealing with the issues they launched an unbridled attack on the appellant. It has become a common occurrence for persons accused of a wrongdoing, instead of confronting the allegation, to accuse the accuser and seek to break down the institution involved. This judgment must serve as a warning to legal practitioners that courts cannot countenance this strategy. In itself it is unprofessional. The problem is that the respondents’ professional body appears to have instigated their behaviour and aided and abetted them in making untruthful denials, ignoring laws and court judgments, and launching an attack on the appellant. Had it not been for the invidious role of their society I would have had little hesitation to find that the respondents were not fit to continue practising. – SCA in Law Society of the Northern Provinces v Mogami ZASCA 107 (588/08) [2009]

 

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