To the Forum:
The incredibly well researched and written article by Dr. Gordon
Cochrane on "The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders"
(DSM-V) (June 2013, p. 20) should be read by every practicing attorney in the United
States. I hope it can be shared far and wide.
When I clerked for Judge Edward Allen Tamm, (US Ct of Appeals [TECA],
Washington, D.C., he made a statement that was either sua sponte or
copied, no matter, that his experience on the Bench of the US District
Court and then on the US Ct of Appeals, lead him to believe the human
animal is the only species on earth, that when caged and controlled,
does damn well as it pleases.
This succinctly states what Dr. Cochrane sets out in his review of the
DSM-V, urging all of us in the legal profession to understand the
subjective aspects of being human, not framed in objective coordinates
we all hope exist. This leads to an understanding of our judicial system
that is framed around people, not laws. If we want to change the law, we
argue for an exception or expansion, or we seek a new decider of the
facts and/or law, that is we seek a change of venue, a new Judge, even a
new jury, or in the legislative arena, we seen a new election, all the
more with the Presidency.
Dr. Cochrane's discussion of PTSD is especially vital to all us from the
Vietnam era. I have several friends with PTSD seeking cures from the
unknown cause of their affliction, learning the rallying must be around
a Higher Power, and hoping for a justice system that will have people
who believe them and bring proper assistance when needed.
Thomas R. Napton, Esq.