The Hidden Prejudice: Mental Disability on Trial

Pages: 329
Item #: 431627A
ISBN: 978-1-55798-616-0
List Price: $19.95
Member/Affiliate Price: $19.95
Copyright: 2000
Format: Hardcover
Availability: In Stock
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For individuals in the U.S. & U.S. territories


In The Hidden Prejudice, Michael L. Perlin reveals a pattern of prejudice against mentally disabled individuals that keeps them from receiving equal treatment under the law. Sanism, like racism, is a prejudice against a minority population. This mostly hidden prejudice against mentally ill people has pervaded Western culture throughout history and continues to affect our culture and legal system.

Under the pretext of "improving" society, a judge, lawyer, or fact-finder may rationalize turning a blind eye to faulty evidence and render a sanist decision. The pretext for this testimonial dishonesty is that the end result justifies the means. In cases involving the mentally disabled, these end results are founded on the prejudicial belief that the mentally disabled are not responsible or intelligent enough to deserve the full rights of citizenship. Perlin argues that these are sanist decisions, and explores the roots and results of these decisions.

Series Editor: Bruce D. Sales. Co-editors: Stephen J. Ceci, Norman J. Finkel, and Bruce J. Winick.

Table of Contents





Part I. Sanism and Pretextuality

  1. Setting the Stage: Why Mental Disability Is on Trial
  2. On Sanism
  3. On Pretextuality

Part II. The Sanist and Pretextual Roots of Mental Disability Law

  1. Involuntary Civil Commitment Law
  2. The Right to Treatment
  3. The Right to Refuse Treatment
  4. The Right to Sexual Interaction
  5. The Americans with Disabilities Act
  6. Competence to Plead Guilty and the Competence to Waive Counsel
  7. The Insanity Defense
  8. The Federal Sentencing Guidelines

Part III. Therapeutic Jurisprudence: Exposing Sanism and Pretextuality

  1. Exposing the Prejudice
  2. Unpacking Mental Disability Law
  3. Conclusion

Table of Authority


About the Author