Landmark Cases in Forensic Psychiatry

Elizabeth Ford; Merrill Rotter
Pub date
Jul 2014
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Forensic psychiatry (the interface of psychiatry and the law), forensic psychology, and mental health law are growing and evolving subspecialties in their respective larger disciplines. Topics included in these fields include a range as diverse as capital sentencing guidelines, informed consent, and standards of care for mental health treatment. All of these topics need to be understood and mastered by clinicians, educators, administrators and attorneys working with psychiatric patients. This book brings together concise, comprehensive summaries of the most important "landmark" legal decisions relating to mental health practice in the United States. These decisions, along with their underlying reasonings, make up a critical portion of the national certification examination for forensic psychiatry offered by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN). Many of the themes are also tested in the ABPN certification examination for general psychiatry. This book is the first to provide a combination of summaries of the relevant legal content paired with board-style test questions designed to help consolidate knowledge and prepare for certification. Cases with similar themes are grouped together with an eye toward helping the reader understand the evolution of legal and clinical thinking on a particular topic. This book represents an important addition to the study tools and textbooks available related to psychiatry and the law and will serve as a useful reference for clinicians who must follow established legal requirements in their field.


Section I: Mental Health Practice Guidelines
Chapter 1: Confidentiality and Privilege/Shane Konrad & Eraka Bath
Chapter 2: Informed Consent/Gregory Davis
Chapter 3: Duty to Protect/Andrew Kopelman
Chapter 4: Expert Testimony/Scott Soloway & Bryan Shelby
Chapter 5: Questions on Mental Health Practice Guidelines
Section II: Institutional Treatment Guidelines
Chapter 6: Civil Commitment/Elizabeth Ford
Chapter 7: Right to Die/Elizabeth Ford
Chapter 8: Right to Treatment/Bipin Subedi
Chapter 9: Right to Refuse Treatment/Rebecca Lewis
Chapter 10: Questions on Institutional Treatment Guidelines
Section III: Child and Adolescent Issues
Chapter 11: Child Abuse Reporting/Shawn Sidhu & Eraka Bath
Chapter 12: Child Custody & Parental Competencies/Eileen Ryan
Chapter 13: Juvenile Rights/Eileen Ryan and Elizabeth Ford
Chapter 14: Education for all Handicapped Persons Act/Shawn Sidhu
Chapter 15: Questions on Child and Adolescent Issues
Section IV: Tort Law
Chapter 16: Disability/Howard Forman 3
Chapter 17: Emotional Harm/Amar Mehta
Chapter 18: Health Insurance/Bryan Shelby, Merrill Rotter & Elizabeth Ford
Chapter 19: Sexual Harassment/Andrew Levin & Merrill Rotter
Chapter 20: Sex/Merrill Rotter
Chapter 21: Questions on Tort Law
Section V: Criminal Law and Incarceration
Chapter 22: Criminal Procedure/Michael Greenspan, Amar Mehta and Merrill Rotter
Chapter 23: Criminal Competencies/Matthew Grover
Chapter 24: Diminished Capacity/Michael Greenspan
Chapter 25: Insanity/Katya Frischer
Chapter 26: Prisoners' Rights/Omar Khan, Rebecca Lewis & Bipin Subedi
Chapter 27: Death Penalty /Tara Straka
Chapter 28: Sex Offenders/Li-wen Lee
Chapter 29: Questions on Criminal Law and Incarceration

About the author: 

Dr. Elizabeth Ford is an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine, is the Director of Bellevue Hospital's Forensic Psychiatry Division, and is the Training Director for the NYU Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship. She has been involved in clinical practice, research and education, both locally and nationally, in the field of forensic psychiatry since 2005. Merrill Rotter is a forensic psychiatrist working at Albert Einstein College of Medicine where he is Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Division of Law and Psychiatry for the Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Rotter received his B.A./M.D. from the Boston University Six-Year Combined Liberal Arts Medical Education Program. Trained in clinical psychiatry at Columbia and in forensic psychiatry at Yale, Dr. Rotter leads a program of teaching, research and clinical service for Einstein as well as the New York State Office of Mental Health.

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