Book Notices

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Book Notices

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Book Notices MARTIN ROTH and ROBERTBLUGLASS (editors), Psychiatry, human rights and the law, Cambridge University Press, 1985, 8vo, pp. x, 341, £27.50. The perennially troubled relationship between psychiatry and the law reflects shifting socio-political pressures as well as the differences in basic standpoints between the two disciplines. A comparison between the British Mental Health Acts of 1959 and 1983 illustrates many of the underlying issues, and the brief historical chapter in this volume of the proceedings of a 1983 medico-legal conference sketches some of the relevant factors that have come into play over the intervening twenty-five years. The remaining fourteen papers are more concerned with the present and the future. The medical contributors tend to be factual but stodgy, whether from the United Kingdom or as the representatives of Italy, Denmark, the USA, and West Germany, who provide an international flavour to the content. The non-medical participants, lawyers and social theorists, are livelier and more wordy: one of them takes up a quarter of the whole book to discuss mental health legislation as an indicator of values and policies. By and large, however, the expert will be familiar with the material and the general reader can find it readily enough elsewhere. CLAUDIA KREN, Medieval science and technology. A selected, annotated bibliography, New York and London, Garland Publishing Co., 1985, 8vo, pp. xix, 369, $53.00. This select bibliography will be valuable for the newcomer to the subject with only English at his disposal, for the brief summaries of the arguments of articles in other languages are, where checked, clear and succinct. But the section on medicine displays some alarming gaps. The NLM Bibliography is in, but not Current Work; the first edition of Lawn's Salernitan questions, but not its enlarged and corrected Italian translation; Chartres is extensively covered, Padua and Bologna not ai all; we have Kristeller's fundamental paper on early Salerno of 1944-5 but not

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