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Courts' misplaced confidence in psychiatric diagnoses

Published on Sep 1, 2011in International Journal of Law and Psychiatry 1.19
· DOI :10.1016/j.ijlp.2011.08.005
Graham Mellsop17
Estimated H-index: 17
(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 Aug 1, 2010in Journal of Mental Health 2.60
Til Wykes58
Estimated H-index: 58
(South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust),
Felicity Callard21
Estimated H-index: 21
(South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust)
The allocation of diagnoses in psychiatry has always been controversial. Diagnoses usually indicate possible treatments, as well as determining who will receive support from health and social services. Some regard the formulation and sharing of a psychiatric diagnosis as itself therapeutic, in that psychological symptoms can be given meaning and effectively discussed with the patient (e.g., Brody & Waters, 1980). However, detractors also comment on how diagnosis can medicalize patterns of behavi...
39 Citations Source Cite
Published on Aug 1, 2010in Journal of Mental Health 2.60
Jerome C. Wakefield35
Estimated H-index: 35
(NYU: New York University)
Background: In psychiatry's transformation from primarily an asylum-based profession to a community-oriented profession, false positive diagnoses that mistakenly classify normal intense reactions to stress as mental disorders became a major challenge to the validity of psychiatric diagnosis. The shift to symptom-based operationalized diagnostic criteria in DSM-III further exacerbated this difficulty because of the contextually based nature of the distinction between normal distress and mental di...
38 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jul 1, 2010in American Journal of Psychiatry 13.65
Thomas R. Insel97
Estimated H-index: 97
Bruce N. Cuthbert54
Estimated H-index: 54
+ 5 AuthorsPhilip S. Wang68
Estimated H-index: 68
2,430 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jun 24, 2010in BMJ 27.60
Coleen Kivlahan10
Estimated H-index: 10
Nate Ewigman1
Estimated H-index: 1
(UF: 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
Published on May 1, 2010in International Journal of Social Psychiatry 1.37
Barbara Laird1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Waikato Hospital),
Barry Smith3
Estimated H-index: 3
+ 1 AuthorsGraham Mellsop4
Estimated H-index: 4
(Waikato Hospital)
Background: Family ( whanau ) and other carers can play a central part in the natural history of psychiatric service users. Diagnoses or the classification of mental disorders play a significant role in communications between clinicians, psychiatric service users, and family. Despite that centrality, the views and experiences of family on the utility of the present classification systems have been little studied. Aims: This study aimed to document the understanding and opinions of families/ whan...
7 Citations Source Cite
Published on Mar 1, 2010in Annual Review of Clinical Psychology 14.10
Steven E. Hyman55
Estimated H-index: 55
(Harvard University)
A pressing need for interrater reliability in the diagnosis of mental disorders emerged during the mid-twentieth century, prompted in part by the development of diverse new treatments. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), third edition answered this need by introducing operationalized diagnostic criteria that were field-tested for interrater reliability. Unfortunately, the focus on reliability came at a time when the scientific understanding of mental disorders was em...
408 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jan 1, 2009in American Journal of Psychiatry 13.65
M.P.E. Carol S. North2
Estimated H-index: 2
Alina Surís20
Estimated H-index: 20
+ 1 AuthorsRebecca P. Smith10
Estimated H-index: 10
Unlike most psychiatric diagnoses, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is defined in relation to a potentially etiologic event (the traumatic “stressor criterion”) that is fundamental to its conceptualization. The diagnosis of PTSD thus inherently depends on two separate but confounded processes: exposure to trauma and development of a specific pattern of symptoms that appear following the trauma. Attempts to define the range of trauma exposure inherent in the diagnosis of PTSD have generated c...
97 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jun 1, 2008in Clinical Psychology Review 9.90
Steven G. Benish3
Estimated H-index: 3
(UW: University of Wisconsin-Madison),
Zac E. Imel19
Estimated H-index: 19
(UW: University of Wisconsin-Madison),
Bruce E. Wampold49
Estimated H-index: 49
(UW: University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Abstract Psychotherapy has been found to be an effective treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but meta-analyses have yielded inconsistent results on relative efficacy of psychotherapies in the treatment of PTSD. The present meta-analysis controlled for potential confounds in previous PTSD meta-analyses by including only bona fide psychotherapies, avoiding categorization of psychotherapy treatments, and using direct comparison studies only. The primary analysis revealed that effect...
201 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jun 1, 2008in Clinical Psychology Review 9.90
Gerald M. Rosen17
Estimated H-index: 17
(UW: University of Washington),
Scott O. Lilienfeld62
Estimated H-index: 62
(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...
189 Citations Source Cite
Published on May 13, 2008
Derek Summerfield17
Estimated H-index: 17
('KCL': King's College London)
85 Citations Source Cite
Cited By3
Published on Jan 1, 2016in International Journal of Law and Psychiatry 1.19
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 0.73
Mark B. Hamner26
Estimated H-index: 26
(MUSC: 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. Weiss12
Estimated H-index: 12
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