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St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton's Forensic Psychiatry Program and Mental Health and Addiction Program,
and McMaster University present the 11th Annual Risk and Recovery Forensic Conference

Dr. John Deadman

Seminar: "A History of Psychopathy Concept:  Is It Still A Valid Construct?"


The concept of psychopathic personality and related character disorders emerged when the courts were refining the concepts of the insanity defense in the 19th century.  People with psychopathic behaviour did not meet criteria for insanity under the M'Naughton Rule because they presented as normal and seemed to know what they were doing.  The big question:  Was psychopathy a mental illness?  Was it insanity?

Hervey Cleckley tried to answer this in his 1941 book:  "The Mask of Sanity".  He set criteria and described 3 types.  He argued that it was a mental illness.

The DSM-III changed the classification to "anti-social personality disorder" (ASPD) and listed it on    Axis II.  The old term was dropped largely because it was argued that there was no scientific way of objectively measuring it.

But the new criteria for ASPD were equally unsatisfactory.  It was found that in the DSM, disorders on Axis I could be clustered in a way to indicate that there was an underlying concept.  Axis II disorders could not be clustered.  This raised the previous question as to whether it was a mental disorder at all.

Robert Hare went back to the original concept of psychopathy and developed a psychopathy checklist that has received increasing validation and support.

But the controversy continues.  We still discuss the various problems in the forensic psychiatry area and attempt to come to some sort of closure on this issue.

Bio of Dr. John Deadman

Born in Hamilton but grew up in Burlington.  University of Toronto, B.A., M.D., Dip. Psych. Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, Fellow.  Worked in the Ontario Mental Health Clinic service and then became Medical Director of the Whitby Psychiatric Hospital.  Moved to the Ministry of Health, Ontario as a Consultant in Psychiatry.  Then became Principle Program Advisor, Mental Health Division.

Dr. Deadman came to McMaster and the Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital.  He set up the Wellington Psychiatric Outreach Program and the Community Schizophrenia Service - both are still functioning as part of the community support network in Hamilton.  He has remained active, providing part time coverage to several programs and is now located at the West 5th Campus in Forensics and Community Psychiatry.

John's main interest now is history.  He is Chair of the Section on the History and Philosophy of Psychiatry at the Canadian Psychiatric Association, Archivist of the Ontario Psychiatric Association and a frequent presenter on these topics.  He has just published a book on forensic psychiatry in Hamilton and is a Distinguished Fellow of both the Canadian and American Psychiatric Associations.

Register now!

April 6th & 7th, 2017

The conference is taking place on Thursday, April 6th and Friday, April 7th, 2017, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. A pre-conference workshop will be held on April 5, 2017.

Sheraton Hotel Hamilton

Once again, we are pleased to host the conference at the Sheraton Hotel, conveniently located in the heart of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

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