Psychiatrists, however, are in the potentially embarrassing position of being brain specialists who for the most part rely on judgements about behaviour, and not brain functioning, to make their diagnoses and who have failed to demonstrate clear links between these behaviours and brain functioning. The problem remains as to why disciplines and professional groups which have no obvious vested interest in maintaining concepts of illness and schizophrenia should still do so. The idea of schizophrenia as a disease might not only serve to justify intervention without consent, but also to distance people from disturbing people. The question of the validity of ‘schizophrenia’ centres on the demonstration that it is derived from a reliably observed pattern, an above-chance co-occurrence of phenomena. Part of the difficulty of constructing environmental or contextual accounts of bizarre behaviour would seem to be that these are not only seen as less scientific but also as placing blame.