Document Detail

Commentary: the problem of agreement on diagnoses in criminal cases.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21156913     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Process    
The authors present an important two-part study as they strive to provide an empirical analysis of psychiatric diagnoses in criminal case reports in Australia. In the first part, they compare the level of agreement or correlation of diagnoses between pairs of experts who prepared reports for either the prosecution or defense with other reports prepared for the same and opposing sides and by profession (i.e., psychiatrists and/or psychologists). In the second part, they compare the level of agreement or correlation between experts retained by either the prosecution or defense and treating practitioners. Psychiatric diagnoses are fundamental requirements that may affect the adjudication of criminal and civil cases. Both parts of the study focus on criminal cases and are very exciting in that they review not only the correlation of agreements in these areas but also address indirectly the concept of the so-called hired gun. The development of specialized expertise in the evaluation and assessment of defendants by designated opinion or expert witnesses has progressed over time. The nexus between psychiatry and the law (i.e., forensic psychiatry) has included the presentation of psychiatric diagnosis to the courts and the necessity for the expert or treating practitioner to address legal questions raised by the court. This study makes important steps in the direction of examining and analyzing the role of psychiatric diagnosis according to the responsibilities of the evaluator (i.e., as independent examiner or treating practitioner), as well as the possible influence of professional training and experience on differences in diagnoses between two evaluators. It is anticipated that there will be further work in these areas to address not only diagnoses but forensic recommendations and opinions.
Raymond F Patterson
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comment; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law     Volume:  38     ISSN:  1943-3662     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Am. Acad. Psychiatry Law     Publication Date:  2010  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-12-15     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9708963     Medline TA:  J Am Acad Psychiatry Law     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  531-5     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Psychiatry, Howard University, Washington, DC, USA.
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Comment On:
J Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 2010;38(4):516-23   [PMID:  21156911 ]
J Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 2010;38(4):524-30   [PMID:  21156912 ]

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