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Shrink rap

Raj Persaud, Britain’s celebrity psychiatrist and media darling, is on trial for what the Guardian is calling “blatant cribs” in his 2003 book From the Edge of the Couch.

Persaud is accused of passing off the scholarship of other psychiatrists as his own, both in the popular book and in several articles. He admits his actions were inappropriate, but doesn’t believe his faux pas was dishonest, or that it will shame the medical profession.

One of his victims, Professor Richard Bentall, told the medical tribunal he was “flabbergasted” when he saw his work basically cut-and-pasted into Persaud’s book.

From the Guardian:

[Bentall] had given permission for standard quotes but expected them to appear in quotation marks with proper attribution. Instead, he said, the material appeared in the book “looking as though it had been authored by someone else”.


Bentall said he admired 45-year-old Persaud’s media skills and ability to present complex medical matters to the public, but could not understand how he could plagiarise so blatantly. He said: “I find it hard to believe that somebody with the reputation of Persaud would deliberately set out to do something so obviously wrong.”

Bentall then delivers a final blow:

“I actually thought it was rather stupid. It seemed to be fairly obvious that this would be found out by somebody.”

Persaud blames the slip-up on stress, deadlines, and his busy day job.