A commentary on Pietro Pellegrini’s paper "For the future of the Italian Law no. 180/1978 on psychiatric reform" (Psicoterapia e Scienze Umane, 2018, 52, 1: 115-119). Some key aspects of Pietro Pellegrini’s paper are critically examined. It is argued that some of Pellegrini’s comments risk of turning any discussion on the Italian Law no. 180/1978 into an ethical debate on citizenship rights, preventing to see the actual consequences of this Law on the treatment of mental health disorders and the organization of psychiatric services. The actual ethical nature of certain positions is questioned, it is argued that it must be confronted with the suspicion of ideology, on the one hand, and with the need of scientific research and training of mental health professionals, on the other.
Keywords: Italian Law 180/178; Psychiatric reform in Italy; Ethics in psychiatry; Ideology; Psychiatric services