Abraham Halpern

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Dr. Abraham L. Halpern was a Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at New York Medical College and former president of The American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law.

In a wide-ranging career, Dr. Halpern was a champion of human rights especially in matters of law and mental health and was one of the founding leaders of the psychiatric sub-specialty of forensic psychiatry.

In 1965, Dr. Halpern participated in the March on Selma with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., manning one of the ambulances in support of protestors.[1]

Dr. Halpern had been a long-standing member of the UN Alliance of NGOs on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, representing both the International Council of Prison Medical Services and the World Psychiatric Association.

Halpern was a Board member of Friends of Falun Gong, USA.[2] Halpern is also a very strong opponent of the death penalty; he has written extensively on the subject of physician participation in executions.[3] Halpern has also spoke out in defense of the curiative benefits of psychoanalysis.[4] Halpern has advocated for the abolition of the insanity defense[5]

Military Service[edit]

Served on active duty in Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve from Sep. 24, 1942 to Nov. 30, 1945 in European, North Atlantic, and Pacific theatres.

Rank on discharge: Petty Officer.

Served in Royal Canadian Navy, 1953-1957, as follows:

Medical Officer, R.C.N. Hospital, Esquimalt, BC, July to Nov., 1953.

Medical Officer, H.M.C.S. "Cayuga", Nov., 1953 to Feb., 1955 - Far East (Korea).

Medical Officer, R.C.N. Hospital, Cornwallis, NS, Apr., 1955 to Sep., 1956.

Medical Officer, R.C.N. Hospital, Halifax, NS, Sep., 1956 to June, 1957.

Rank on discharge: Surgeon Lieutenant Commander.


  • In 2000 Dr. Halpern was given the Human Rights Award from the American Psychiatric Association.[6]
  • In 2003 he received the Medical Society State of New York's President's Citizenship Award.[7]
  • In 2004 he received the William C. Menninger Memorial Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Science of Mental Health from the American College of Physicians.[8]

Published works[edit]

  • 'Soviet Psychiatry:An Exchange' (1989)
  • Sweet Auburn: Recollections of a Prison Psychiatrist. (Frank Nesbit, 1999).
  • 'The Culture of Control' (2003)


  1. ^ [1] The New York Times, New York Doctors Barred at Scene, March 08, 1965. Retrieved on 2015-05.
  2. ^ Abraham L. Halpern, Letter to the World Medical Association Archived August 16, 2007, at the Wayback Machine., April 15, 2007
  3. ^ short bio of Halpern
  4. ^ Hapern letter to the editory of Psychiatric News.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ abstract of article by Halpern
  6. ^ Psychiatric Services: News & Notes American Psychiatric Association, June 2000. Retrieved on 2007-11-06.
  7. ^ [2][permanent dead link] Psychiatric News, June 20, 2003. Retrieved on 2007-11-06.
  8. ^ [3] College announces service awardees and new Masters, March, 2004. Retrieved on 2015-05-23.

External links[edit]