[Forensic-psychiatric opinion at the beginning of the 19th century. Theory and practice in Johann Christian August Heinroth (1773-1843)].Psychiatr Prax. 2011 Apr; 38(3):142-6.PP
In recent years, Leipzig psychiatrist Johann Christian August Heinroth has attracted more and more attention, yet his forensic-psychiatric works have largely been neglected.
Therefore this study takes a close look at his System der Psychisch-Gerichtlichen Medizin (1825) and his Gerichtsärztliche- und Privatgutachten (1847) to examine his theoretical and practical approach to examining offenders.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS
Heinroth wanted to give forensic-psychiatric opinion on the responsibility of specialist physicians and to implement training for them. He also set up firm criteria for reports, both as regarded content and form. In such reports, he made a full review of the culprit's medical history, present physical and mental state and capabilities, as well as of any influences that might have had an impact on the deed. He also ruled that a specialist's report was to help the judge, but not to replace the judge's work. Heinroth's own works reveal his ideas, as well as his rejection of the exploitation of (assumed) mental disorders to gain exculpation for offenders.