Mentally Ill, Inc.
The debate about corporate personhood—the legal recognition of corporations as persons—rose again to prominence in the U.S.A. when, in 2010, the United States Supreme Court ruled that corporations can fund political parties under the same rules as people (they were formerly severely restricted from doing so).
If corporations are persons, they may also have health problems. Corporations themselves take all possible steps to care about their own physical health, such as having enough food (money, supplies, etc.) and keeping internal organs (administration, production, logistics, etc.) in good shape. This is what people usually mean when they say that a corporation’s health is good or poor. Corporations as people, however, may also have mental health issues. As many psychiatric patients, they may need significant external intervention to get better.
Consider, for instance, antisocial personality disorder (ASPD), or the “pervasive disregard of, and violation of, the rights of others” (this definition and most of the following on ASPD is from Wikipedia). According to the American Psychiatric Association, three or more of these symptoms indicate antisocial personality:
- failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors, as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest;
- deceitfulness, as indicated by repeatedly lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure;
- impulsivity or failure to plan ahead; irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults;
- reckless disregard for safety of self or others;
- consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations;
- lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another;
How many corporations can be diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder? And what would be the treatment?