Ethical aspects of personality disorders

Gillian Bendelow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE OF REVIEW To review recent literature around the controversial diagnosis of personality disorder, and to assess the ethical aspects of its status as a medical disorder. RECENT FINDINGS The diagnostic currency of personality disorder as a psychiatric/medical disorder has a longstanding history of ethical and social challenges through critiques of the medicalization of deviance. More recently controversies by reflexive physicians around the inclusion of the category in the forthcoming revisions of International Classification of Diseases and Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders classifications reflect the problems of value-laden criteria, with the diagnostic category being severely challenged from within psychiatry as well as from without. SUMMARY The clinical diagnostic criteria for extremely value-laden psychiatric conditions such as personality disorder need to be analyzed through the lens of values-based medicine, as well as through clinical evidence, as the propensity for political and sociolegal appropriation of the categories can render their clinical and diagnostic value meaningless.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)546-549
Number of pages4
JournalCurrent Opinion in Psychiatry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2010


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