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Psychiatry's problem child: PTSD in the forensic context (part 2).
Australas Psychiatry. 2008 Apr; 16(2):109-13.AP

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this paper was to consider whether the Courts in their application of Criterion A for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the civil forensic context are in harmony or in conflict with psychiatry.

METHOD

Discussed are five cases from the civil forensic jurisdiction that considered plaintiffs' submissions that, as a consequence of some wrong, they suffered PTSD.

RESULTS

The Courts have been quite consistent in their approach to PTSD--where there has been conflicting expert evidence as to whether a plaintiff has PTSD, the stressor which brings about this disorder must be extreme (i.e. objectively life-threatening).

CONCLUSIONS

The Courts have been consistent in their application of Criterion A and, as such, are consistent with what the DSM-IV-TR requires before the diagnosis can be made. Such an approach ensures that merely unpleasant events, irrespective of how subjectively upsetting they may be, do not qualify for the diagnosis of PTSD. Psychiatrists, therefore, have an enormous responsibility when they provide expert evidence in relation to psychiatric issues that arise in legal matters.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Nurses and Midwives Board of Western Australia, Perth, WA, Australia. petercgaughwin@bigpond.com

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Review

Language

eng

PubMed ID

18335367

Citation

Gaughwin, Peter. "Psychiatry's Problem Child: PTSD in the Forensic Context (part 2)." Australasian Psychiatry : Bulletin of Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, vol. 16, no. 2, 2008, pp. 109-13.
Gaughwin P. Psychiatry's problem child: PTSD in the forensic context (part 2). Australas Psychiatry. 2008;16(2):109-13.
Gaughwin, P. (2008). Psychiatry's problem child: PTSD in the forensic context (part 2). Australasian Psychiatry : Bulletin of Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, 16(2), 109-13. https://doi.org/10.1080/10398560701636922
Gaughwin P. Psychiatry's Problem Child: PTSD in the Forensic Context (part 2). Australas Psychiatry. 2008;16(2):109-13. PubMed PMID: 18335367.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Psychiatry's problem child: PTSD in the forensic context (part 2). A1 - Gaughwin,Peter, PY - 2008/3/13/pubmed PY - 2008/4/9/medline PY - 2008/3/13/entrez SP - 109 EP - 13 JF - Australasian psychiatry : bulletin of Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists JO - Australas Psychiatry VL - 16 IS - 2 N2 - OBJECTIVE: The aim of this paper was to consider whether the Courts in their application of Criterion A for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the civil forensic context are in harmony or in conflict with psychiatry. METHOD: Discussed are five cases from the civil forensic jurisdiction that considered plaintiffs' submissions that, as a consequence of some wrong, they suffered PTSD. RESULTS: The Courts have been quite consistent in their approach to PTSD--where there has been conflicting expert evidence as to whether a plaintiff has PTSD, the stressor which brings about this disorder must be extreme (i.e. objectively life-threatening). CONCLUSIONS: The Courts have been consistent in their application of Criterion A and, as such, are consistent with what the DSM-IV-TR requires before the diagnosis can be made. Such an approach ensures that merely unpleasant events, irrespective of how subjectively upsetting they may be, do not qualify for the diagnosis of PTSD. Psychiatrists, therefore, have an enormous responsibility when they provide expert evidence in relation to psychiatric issues that arise in legal matters. SN - 1440-1665 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/18335367/Psychiatry's_problem_child:_PTSD_in_the_forensic_context__part_2__ L2 - http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1080/10398560701636922?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub=pubmed DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -