Scientific article
Open access

Plaidoyer contre l'anamnèse psychiatrique

Published inSwiss Archives of Neurology, Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, vol. 168, no. 7, p. 196-201
Publication date2017

Few practices have been subject to as little scrutiny in psychiatry as the taking of patients' medical histories. That said, it must be noted that most information collected upon taking patient medical history proves unjustified in terms of timely clinical actions to be taken by medical professionals. Such information could thus be deemed excessive, as it goes beyond what is useful from a pragmatic, or clinical, standpoint. If lacking in clinical utility, what purpose does such data serve? The process of taking medical history can be examined through the prism of its power-related function, rooted in the dominant position assumed by doctors and caregivers, who collect information irrelevant to the patients' needs with regard to their request for care. One might view this as part of what Foucault calls the regimes of truth. A regime of truth compels individuals to carry out a number of acts of truth, thereby determining the obligations of the said individuals in terms of their manners of expressing the truth. The regimes of truth include, for instance, rituals in the form of theatrical ceremonies called “alethurgias” and an array of verbal and non-verbal procedures meant to embody truth. According to Foucault, in ancient times there were three regimes of truth, and two of which are especially relevant to taking medical history, namely the veridiction of the gods and the veridiction of slaves. The thesis is hereby put forward that taking medical history is a derivative of the veri­diction of slaves.

Citation (ISO format)
ZULLINO, Daniele Fabio, SOULIGNAC, Rodolphe, MANGHI-ANNONI, Rita Maria. Plaidoyer contre l’anamnèse psychiatrique. In: Swiss Archives of Neurology, Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, 2017, vol. 168, n° 7, p. 196–201.
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Article (Published version)
  • PID : unige:100075
ISSN of the journal2297-6981

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