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Summary of Newspaper Article:

Mental health workers fear indictment’s impact

Mark Smith
Houston Chronicle, 10/30/97

This article describes the response of the International Society for the Study of Dissociation (ISSD) to the criminal indictments against Peterson, Seward, Keraga, Davis and Mueck. It notes that a group of therapists "said civil court is the appropriate venue for such cases, and predicted the indictment would have a ‘chilling effect’ on health care delivery." A press release issued by the ISSD asked "Will any patient who is unhappy with the outcome of any form of therapy be able to allege that purposeful criminal fraudulent therapy was performed and cause a therapist to be indicted?" The ISSD represents about 1,000 psychiatrists, psychologists and other therapists who are interested in multiple personality, now referred to as a dissociative disorder.

False Memory Syndrome Foundation executive director Pamela Freyd is also quoted: "Any parent who feels their child has been harmed will feel that it is a pretty criminal thing to do. I think many people feel that to destroy families, to incarcerate people needlessly, seems pretty close to criminal... But that doesn’t necessarily mean that it would be reflected as such in the law." She noted that it was unfortunate that any of the cases had to go to civil or criminal courts, and that medical professional groups should have taken "strong positions to ensure members used safe practices."

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