Thomas S. Szasz Quotes

From the descriptive point of view, the difference between the physician and the veterinarian is that the former treats human diseases or sick people, whereas the latter treats animal diseases or sick animals. From the moral and political point of view, the difference between them is that the physician is expected to be the agent […]

Science can give us power over nature, but it cannot give us power over human nature.

We achieve “active” mastery over illness and death by delegating all responsibility for their management to physicians, and by exiling the sick and the dying to hospitals. But hospitals serve the convenience of staff not patients: we cannot be properly ill in a hospital, nor die in one decently; we can do so only among […]

The American people are ceaselessly propagandized about the real dangers from which drug prohibitions are intended to protect us. The damage the prohibitions cause are glossed over in silence or, more often, are unrecognized. We avoid confronting problems of living as moral problems and choose instead to treat them as medical problems. It is not […]

Mutatis mutandis, to fulfil their self-imposed duty, the Medical Paternalists united medicine and the state and declared that people now enjoyed ‘patient autonomy’. To maintain this fiction, the authorities try to prevent people from securing from themselves medical goods or services outside the state-controlled system and reserve their most savage punishments for those guilty of […]

Consider how we actually live. A person goes into the forest and eats a mushroom he finds growing there; or into the fields, and smokes a weed he finds sprouting among the corn stalks; to to a pond, and licks the skin of a toad he finds swimming there. Judicial agents of the state pronounce […]

The plague of mankind is the fear and rejection of diversity: monotheism, monarchy, monogamy and, in our age, monomedicine. The belief that there is only one right way to live, only one right way to regulate religious, political, sexual, medical affairs is the root cause of the greatest threat to man.

Virtually every human problem thus appears to be a disease and every remedy for it is viewed as a treatment. The result is that democracy, limited government, and the rule of law are replaced by “pharmacracy,” unlimited government, and the rule of medical discretion. As in a theocracy, where people are obsessed with religion and […]