Tags

Type your tag names separated by a space and hit enter

Posttraumatic stress disorder in tort actions: forensic minefield.
Bull Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 1990; 18(3):283-302.BA

Abstract

The authors discuss posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a basis for personal injury litigation. Three case examples raise issues related to: (1) the controversy surrounding expansion of tort liability, (2) the courtroom use of psychiatric nomenclature as represented in the DSM (e.g., PTSD), and (3) ethical concerns regarding psychiatric expert witnesses. Psychiatrists became easy targets when problems related to personal injury "stress" cases developed. A careful analysis, however, demonstrates that the issues are complex and multifaceted. For example, tort liability expansion was primarily instituted to compel a greater provision of liability insurance, not to reward stress claims. The increasing use of psychiatry's DSM in the courtroom has occurred despite explicit precautions against forensic application. Finally, the need for psychiatric expert witnesses has increased because courts have gradually usurped some psychiatric clinical prerogatives and because there has been a trend toward greater consideration of emotional pain and suffering. Although psychiatric expert witnesses have not been beyond reproach, critics have attempted to impeach the entire psychiatric profession for the questionable actions of the minority. The authors provide a detailed analysis of current problems, offer suggestions for improvement, and provide an educational counterpoint to the "hysterical invective" that often greets psychiatric testimony.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Psychiatry Service, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Portland, Oregon 97207.No affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Case Reports
Journal Article
Review

Language

eng

PubMed ID

2245244

Citation

Sparr, L F., and J K. Boehnlein. "Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Tort Actions: Forensic Minefield." The Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, vol. 18, no. 3, 1990, pp. 283-302.
Sparr LF, Boehnlein JK. Posttraumatic stress disorder in tort actions: forensic minefield. Bull Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 1990;18(3):283-302.
Sparr, L. F., & Boehnlein, J. K. (1990). Posttraumatic stress disorder in tort actions: forensic minefield. The Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 18(3), 283-302.
Sparr LF, Boehnlein JK. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Tort Actions: Forensic Minefield. Bull Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 1990;18(3):283-302. PubMed PMID: 2245244.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Posttraumatic stress disorder in tort actions: forensic minefield. AU - Sparr,L F, AU - Boehnlein,J K, PY - 1990/1/1/pubmed PY - 1990/1/1/medline PY - 1990/1/1/entrez SP - 283 EP - 302 JF - The Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law JO - Bull Am Acad Psychiatry Law VL - 18 IS - 3 N2 - The authors discuss posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a basis for personal injury litigation. Three case examples raise issues related to: (1) the controversy surrounding expansion of tort liability, (2) the courtroom use of psychiatric nomenclature as represented in the DSM (e.g., PTSD), and (3) ethical concerns regarding psychiatric expert witnesses. Psychiatrists became easy targets when problems related to personal injury "stress" cases developed. A careful analysis, however, demonstrates that the issues are complex and multifaceted. For example, tort liability expansion was primarily instituted to compel a greater provision of liability insurance, not to reward stress claims. The increasing use of psychiatry's DSM in the courtroom has occurred despite explicit precautions against forensic application. Finally, the need for psychiatric expert witnesses has increased because courts have gradually usurped some psychiatric clinical prerogatives and because there has been a trend toward greater consideration of emotional pain and suffering. Although psychiatric expert witnesses have not been beyond reproach, critics have attempted to impeach the entire psychiatric profession for the questionable actions of the minority. The authors provide a detailed analysis of current problems, offer suggestions for improvement, and provide an educational counterpoint to the "hysterical invective" that often greets psychiatric testimony. SN - 0091-634X UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/2245244/Posttraumatic_stress_disorder_in_tort_actions:_forensic_minefield_ L2 - https://medlineplus.gov/posttraumaticstressdisorder.html DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -