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Depression is amorphous. It defies easy generalization, and eludes medical and legal categories. Is it part of the self, or its predator? Can a sufferer be held responsible for their actions?
This edited collection provides a holistic study of a protean illness. If the law is to regulate the lives of those who suffer from depression, it is vital that lawyers understand the condition.
Drawing upon a wide-ranging expertise, this volume looks at depression from four viewpoints: that of the sufferer, the clinician, the ethicist, and the lawyer. Topics covered include the cultural history of depression; causes, epidemiology, and diagnosis; the autonomy debate; criminal responsibility; public health law; depression in the workplace; depression and children; and assisted suicide.
First-hand accounts from sufferers are followed by contributions from clinicians who say what depression is, outline its demography and therapeutic options, and indicate the legal and ethical problems that trouble them the most. The essays then go on to explore legal and ethical questions in depth.
This collection is essential reading for lawyers seeking a broader understanding of depression, and non-lawyers seeking an insight into the difficulty law has engaging with the condition.