Courts' misplaced confidence in psychiatric diagnoses

Published on Sep 1, 2011in International Journal of Law and Psychiatry 1.28
· DOI :10.1016/j.ijlp.2011.08.005
Graham Mellsop16
Estimated H-index: 16
(University of Auckland),
Debra Fraser1
Estimated H-index: 1
(University of Auckland)
+ 1 AuthorsDavid B Menkes17
Estimated H-index: 17
(University of Auckland)
Abstract In considering psychiatric evidence, criminal justice systems make considerable use of labels from official psychiatric classificatory systems. There are legislated requirements for psychological and/or behavioural phenomena to be addressed in legal tests, however medico-legal use of the current categorical diagnostic frameworks which are increasingly complex is difficult to justify. The lack of validity in large domains of the present classificatory systems is now more openly acknowledged, prompting a critical rethink. Illustrative examples include post-traumatic stress disorder, various personality disorders, and dissociative identity disorder. It follows that the Courts' faith in the present categorical classifications (e.g., DSMIV and ICD10) is misplaced and may be ultimately unhelpful to the administration of justice.
  • References (44)
  • Citations (3)
Published on Sep 1, 2004in The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry
August Piper5
Estimated H-index: 5
Harold Merskey41
Estimated H-index: 41
(University of Western Ontario)
Objective:To examine the concept of dissociative identity disorder (DID).Method:We reviewed the literature.Results:The literature shows that 1) there is no proof for the claim that DID results from childhood trauma; 2) the condition cannot be reliably diagnosed; 3) contrary to theory, DID cases in children are almost never reported; and 4) consistent evidence of blatant iatrogenesis appears in the practices of some of the disorder's proponents.Conclusions:DID is best understood as a culture-boun...
67 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jan 1, 2003in Prehospital Emergency Care 2.27
Bryan E. Bledsoe8
Estimated H-index: 8
(University of North Texas)
Background. Critical incident stress management (CISM) has become a common practice in modern emergency services. Described in 1983 as critical incident stress debriefing (CISD), CISM was originally marketed to help emergency personnel deal with ostensibly stressful situations they would encounter as a part of their work. Objective. To review the status of the medical and psychological literature regarding the efficacy and safety of CISM. Methods. Several pertinent databases were accessed and se...
59 Citations Source Cite
Published on Dec 1, 2006in The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry
Gordon Parker81
Estimated H-index: 81
Objective: To demonstrate that the dimension-weighted DSM-IV model for classifying the depressive disorders lacks utility. Method: The logical flaws in classifying the depressive disorders with any severity-based model (which underpin both the DSM-IV and ICD-10 systems) are noted. Integral definitional limitations to the DSM-IV definition of key depressive disorders are identified. It is argued that the DSM-IV classificatory system lacks utility for providing information on etiology and preferen...
26 Citations Source Cite
Published on Feb 1, 1997in American Journal of Psychiatry 13.40
Steven M. Southwick83
Estimated H-index: 83
C. Andrew Morgan4
Estimated H-index: 4
+ 1 AuthorsCharney Ds148
Estimated H-index: 148
Objective: The nature of traumatic memories is currently the subject of intense scientific investigation. While some researchers have described traumatic memory as fixed and indelible, others have found it to be malleable and subject to substantial alteration. The current study is a prospective investigation of memory for serious combat-related traumatic events in veterans of Operation Desert Storm. Method: Fifty-nine National Guard reservists from two separate units completed a 19-item trauma q...
337 Citations Source Cite
Published on Nov 1, 2002in Comprehensive Psychiatry 2.13
Stewart A. Shankman23
Estimated H-index: 23
(Stony Brook University),
Daniel N. Klein71
Estimated H-index: 71
(Stony Brook University)
Abstract It has long been debated whether depression is best classified with a categorical or dimensional diagnostic system. There has been surprisingly little discussion, however, of what the contents of a dimensional classification should include, with most studies employing a single dimension based on symptom severity. The present study explored whether a dimension based on prior course of depression increases the validity of a dimensional model based on symptom severity alone and whether the...
17 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jun 1, 2008in Clinical Psychology Review 9.58
Gerald M. Rosen18
Estimated H-index: 18
(University of Washington),
Scott O. Lilienfeld61
Estimated H-index: 61
(Emory University)
The diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) rests on several core assumptions, particularly the premise that a distinct class of traumatic events is linked to a distinct clinical syndrome. This core assumption of specific etiology ostensibly distinguishes the PTSD diagnosis from virtually all other psychiatric disorders. Additional attempts to distinguish PTSD from extant conditions have included searches for distinctive markers (e.g., biological and laboratory findings) and hypothesiz...
188 Citations Source Cite
Published on Mar 1, 2005in British Journal of Psychiatry 5.87
Mario Maj59
Estimated H-index: 59
The term ‘comorbidity’ was introduced in medicine by Feinstein ([1970][1]) to denote those cases in which a ‘distinct additional clinical entity’ occurred during the clinical course of a patient having an index disease. This term has recently become very fashionable in psychiatry to indicate
150 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jul 1, 2010in American Journal of Psychiatry 13.40
Thomas R. Insel94
Estimated H-index: 94
Bruce N. Cuthbert50
Estimated H-index: 50
+ 5 AuthorsPhilip S. Wang69
Estimated H-index: 69
2,358 Citations Source Cite
Published on Dec 1, 1970in Journal of Chronic Diseases
Alvan R. Feinstein11
Estimated H-index: 11
(Yale University)
Abstract In a patient with a particular index disease, the term co-morbidity refers to any additional co-existing ailment. The failure to classify and analyze co-morbid diseases has led to many difficulties in medical statistics. The omissions create misleading data in mortality rates for a general population, and in fatality rates for an individual disease. In particular, neglect of co-morbidity may cause spurious comparisons during the planning and evaluation of treatment for patients with app...
732 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jun 24, 2010in BMJ 23.56
Coleen Kivlahan10
Estimated H-index: 10
Nate Ewigman1
Estimated H-index: 1
(University of Florida)
Families and communities are victims, as well as individuals Rape is deployed as a weapon of war in countries throughout the world, from Bosnia to Sudan, Peru to Tibet.1 Rape includes lack of consent to sex as well as provision of sex to avoid harm and obtain basic necessities. The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court recognises that rape and other forms of sexual violence by combatants in the conduct of armed conflict are war crimes and can constitute genocide.2 Sexual violence such...
14 Citations Source Cite
Cited By3
Published on Jan 1, 2016in International Journal of Law and Psychiatry 1.28
Martine Herzog-Evans1
Estimated H-index: 1
Against the backdrop of ten years of punitive criminal justice policies, the number of cases in which risk assessments by psychiatrist experts are mandatory has considerably increased in France. Because of complex and deeply ingrained cultural factors, most experts and academics oppose the use of actuarial or other structured judgement tools, which they assimilate to these policy changes. Parallel to this, the reentry judges in charge of making release and other community sentence decisions have...
1 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jul 1, 2014in Journal of Law Medicine & Ethics 0.99
Mark B. Hamner25
Estimated H-index: 25
(Medical University of South Carolina)
PTSD was formalized as a diagnosis by the American Psychiatric Association in 1980 with the publication of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), 3rd edition. Since that time, the diagnosis has been widely utilized in the courts including the use in criminal proceedings. PTSD may play a role in the assessment of violent crimes both as a possible contributing factor in the perpetrators as well as a consequence in the victims. There are a number of ethical and clinical co...
3 Citations Source Cite
Kenneth J. Weiss7
Estimated H-index: 7
Samson Gurmu
Written and directed by Olivier Nakache, Erik Toledano. Co-produced by Quad Productions, Chaocorp, Gaumont, and TF1 Films Production. Distribution by The Weinstein Company. Limited release in the United States May 25, 2012. 112 minutes. The Intouchables [1][1] treats us to a new permutation of the