Protest targets psychiatric abuses

Telegram & Gazette/August 28, 2001

Marlboro -- A group staged a protest yesterday at Marlboro Hospital over alleged abuses in the psychiatric field.

The protest came after the Aug. 22 decision by the state Board of Registrars to revoke the license of Dr. William A. Kadish, who was chief of the department of psychiatry at Marlboro Hospital.

Dr. Kadish had a relationship with a 38-year-old woman with a long history of psychiatric problems, according to the board. He took photographs of the woman in suggestive poses while she was wearing only her undergarments, and allowed his patient to photograph him in suggestive poses, both nude and partially dressed.

Dr. Kadish and the patient also exchanged letters, one of which was sexually explicit. "The sexually explicit letter and photographs represent an extreme deviation from any clinically appropriate standard of care," according to a consent order signed by Dr. Kadish, his lawyer and state medical officials.

Members of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights said that cases such as Dr. Kadish's are not uncommon. "There is a continuous list of psychiatrists betraying their patients this way," said Christopher Garrison, the Massachusetts director of Citizens Commission on Human Rights, in a news release.

Protesters carried a sign that read, "Psychiatrists Do It With Patients" and "Criminalize Psychiatric Rape."

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights was founded in 1969 by the Church of Scientology and psychiatrist Thomas Szasz, according to materials provided by the group.

Mr. Garrison said he does not consider psychiatry to be a branch of medicine. "They vote their mental disorders into existence," he said. Elizabeth McIntyre, a Marlboro Hospital spokesperson, said that "Marlboro Hospital is firm in its commitment to providing high- quality psychiatric care."

She said the hospital has an "outstanding psychiatry department with a staff that does a great job" and has had "many success stories."

She said Dr. Kadish's situation was "very unfortunate. But it would be sadder still if one man's actions reflected on an entire hospital."

She said the hospital's protocol for overseeing and disciplining doctors "worked exactly as it should have" in this case.

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