American Association for the Abolition of Involuntary Mental Hospitalization

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American Association for the Abolition of Involuntary Mental Hospitalization
FounderThomas Szasz, George Alexander, Erving Goffman
HeadquartersUS, Syracuse, NY 1 3203 Roger Yanow, Sec.-Treas[1]
Board chairman
Thomas Szasz
PublicationThe Abolitionist

The American Association for the Abolition of Involuntary Mental Hospitalization (AAAIMH) was an organization founded in 1970 by Thomas Szasz, George Alexander, and Erving Goffman for the purpose of abolishing involuntary psychiatric intervention, particularly involuntary commitment.[2][3] The founding of the AAAIMH was announced by Szasz in 1971 on the American Journal of Public Health[4] and American Journal of Psychiatry.[5] In the Platform Statement of the association, one can read:[4][5]

Throughout the entire history of psychiatry, involuntary psychiatric interventions, and especially involuntary mental hospitalization, have been regarded as morally and professionally legitimate procedures. No group of physicians, lawyers, or social scientists has ever rejected such interventions as contrary to elementary principles of dignity and liberty and hence as morally and professionally illegitimate. The AAAIMH does.

Board chairman of the association was Thomas Szasz.[6] The association provided legal help to psychiatric patients and published a journal, The Abolitionist.[7] The organisation was dissolved in 1980.[7][8]


  1. ^ Fisk, Margaret (1976). Encyclopedia of Associations: National organizations of the U.S. Gale Research Company. p. 742. ISBN 081030127X.
  2. ^ Fischer, Constance; Brodsky, Stanley (1978). Client participation in human services: the Prometheus principle. Transaction Publishers. p. 114. ISBN 087855131X.
  3. ^ Gove, Walter (1982). Deviance and mental illness. Sage Publications. p. 201. ISBN 0803918356.
  4. ^ a b Szasz, Thomas (1971). "To the editor". American Journal of Public Health. American Public Health Association. 61 (6): 1076. doi:10.2105/ajph.61.6.1076-a. PMC 1529883. PMID 18008426.
  5. ^ a b Szasz, Thomas (1 June 1971). "American Association for the Abolition of Involuntary Mental Hospitalization". American Journal of Psychiatry. American Psychiatric Association. 127 (12): 1698. doi:10.1176/ajp.127.12.1698. PMID 5565860.
  6. ^ Simon, Andrew (1998). Made in Hungary: Hungarian contributions to universal culture. Simon Publications LLC. p. 191. ISBN 0966573420.
  7. ^ a b Schaler, Jeffrey, ed. (2004). Szasz under fire: a psychiatric abolitionist faces his critics. Open Court Publishing. pp. xiv. ISBN 0812695682.
  8. ^ Propp, Steven (2013). The quest for the inner human: a novel about psychology. iUniverse. p. 270. ISBN 1491715294.