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Wednesday, January 31, 2001


We interpret wholly relevant, in this context, to mean that it is indeed partly relevant. As such, the term wholly relevant provides DSM-IV protection from legal challenges that the disorder is without exculpatory power. Simultaneously, it allows clinicians and scientists to make treatment and research decisions with discretion on an individual basis. Without the obligation to match all patients and research subjects with all criteria for pathological gambling, DSM-IV and the Cautionary Statement provide clinicians and researchers with freedom to identify criteria that match an individual's gambling behavior. While clinical freedom often translates into better treatment of problem and pathological gamblers, it can simultaneously confuse and complicate other activities. Such is the ambivalent state of a youthful field.

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