Mental Health Practice and the Law

ISBN : 9780199387106

Ronald Schouten
408 Pages
178 x 254 mm
Pub date
May 2017
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Mental health professionals, more than any other clinicians, encounter legal issues on a regular basis. This is a book for anyone in the field, at any stage in their training or practice, who has ever found themselves scratching their head in confusion or dreading that they will expose themselves to liability as they navigate the complexities at the interface of law and mental health. Written by established experts and the rising stars of the next generation, the 16 chapters in this book offer readers a basic understanding of legal principles encountered in clinical practice, as well as practical advice on how to manage situations at the interface of law and clinical practice. Using case examples and clear language, this book helps clinicians understand the underlying principles behind the legal requirements of clinical care. It aims to enhance the reader's knowledge of legal issues and ability to deliver good clinical care when those issues are encountered. This book is unique in that it is, first and foremost, for mental health clinicians in training and those already in practice. While it is not a textbook for lawyers or forensic clinicians, forensic specialists and other professionals who encounter mental health issues in their work, such as law enforcement professionals, will benefit from its practical and clear discussion of legal and mental health issues.


Chapter 1: Basics of the Law and Legal System
Ronald Schouten
Chapter 2: Civil Commitment
Ronald Schouten and Philip Candilis
Chapter 3: Violence Risk Assessment
Jennifer L. Piel and Ronald Schouten
Chapter 4: Practice and Malpractice in the Evaluation of Suicidal Patients
Gary Jacobson
Chapter 5: Informed Consent
Ronald Schouten and Kimberly Kumer
Chapter 6: Guardianships, Conservatorships, and Alternative Forms of Substitute Decision Making
Ronald Schouten and Rebecca W. Brendel
Chapter 7: Treatment Refusal
Ariana Nesbit, Steven K. Hoge, and Debra A. Pinals
Chapter 8: Malpractice
Jennifer L. Piel and Phillip J. Resnick
Chapter 9: Confidentiality and Testimonial Privilege
Robert Scott Johnson and Ronald Schouten
Chapter 10: Evaluation of Child Abuse and Neglect
Matthew Soulier and Catherine Ayoub
Chapter 11: Juveniles and the Law
Matthew Lahaie and Robert Kinscherff
Chapter 12: Mental Health Professionals and the Criminal Justice System
Reena Kapoor and Alec Buchanan
Chapter 13: Disability Evaluations
Marilyn Price
Chapter 14: Malingering and Factitious Disorder
Scott Beach and Matt Lahaie
Chapter 15: Ethics at the Intersection of Mental Health and the Law
Philip J. Candilis and Navneet Sidhu
Appendix 1: Sample Letter for Standard Medical Disqualification
Appendix 2: Sample Letter for Permanent Medical Disqualification
Appendix 3: Subpoena Form

About the author: 

Dr. Schouten practiced law in Chicago before attending medical school and has combined his legal and medical training to provide consultation and training to a wide variety of groups and individuals. He teaches at the undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral levels, and is a regular contributor to the continuing education of physicians, psychologists, social workers, judges, attorneys, and law enforcement. Dr. Schouten is the Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship. He serves as a testifying and consulting expert in civil and criminal matters, and as a consultant to organizations and government agencies on topics ranging from workplace violence to terrorism.

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