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Liability for Diagnosing Malingering.
J Am Acad Psychiatry Law 2017; 45(3):339-347JA

Abstract

Malingering is a medical diagnosis, but not a psychiatric disorder. The label imputes that an evaluee has intentionally engaged in false behavior or statements. By diagnosing malingering, psychiatrists pass judgment on truthfulness. Evaluees taking exception to the label may claim that the professional has committed defamation of character (libel or slander) when the diagnosis is wrong and costs the claimant money or benefits. Clinicians may counter by claiming immunity or that the diagnosis was made in good faith. This problem has come into focus in military and veterans' contexts, where diagnoses become thresholds for benefits. Through historical and literary examples, case law, and military/veterans' claims of disability and entitlement, the authors examine the potency of the malingering label and the potential liability for professionals and institutions of making this diagnosis.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Dr. Weiss is the Robert L. Sadoff Clinical Professor of Forensic Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; Dr. Van Dell is a psychiatric resident at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, NJ. kenweiss@mail.med.upenn.edu.Dr. Weiss is the Robert L. Sadoff Clinical Professor of Forensic Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; Dr. Van Dell is a psychiatric resident at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, NJ.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Legal Case

Language

eng

PubMed ID

28939732

Citation

Weiss, Kenneth J., and Landon Van Dell. "Liability for Diagnosing Malingering." The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, vol. 45, no. 3, 2017, pp. 339-347.
Weiss KJ, Van Dell L. Liability for Diagnosing Malingering. J Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 2017;45(3):339-347.
Weiss, K. J., & Van Dell, L. (2017). Liability for Diagnosing Malingering. The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 45(3), pp. 339-347.
Weiss KJ, Van Dell L. Liability for Diagnosing Malingering. J Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 2017;45(3):339-347. PubMed PMID: 28939732.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Liability for Diagnosing Malingering. AU - Weiss,Kenneth J, AU - Van Dell,Landon, PY - 2017/9/24/entrez PY - 2017/9/25/pubmed PY - 2018/6/19/medline SP - 339 EP - 347 JF - The journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law JO - J. Am. Acad. Psychiatry Law VL - 45 IS - 3 N2 - Malingering is a medical diagnosis, but not a psychiatric disorder. The label imputes that an evaluee has intentionally engaged in false behavior or statements. By diagnosing malingering, psychiatrists pass judgment on truthfulness. Evaluees taking exception to the label may claim that the professional has committed defamation of character (libel or slander) when the diagnosis is wrong and costs the claimant money or benefits. Clinicians may counter by claiming immunity or that the diagnosis was made in good faith. This problem has come into focus in military and veterans' contexts, where diagnoses become thresholds for benefits. Through historical and literary examples, case law, and military/veterans' claims of disability and entitlement, the authors examine the potency of the malingering label and the potential liability for professionals and institutions of making this diagnosis. SN - 1943-3662 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/28939732/Liability_for_Diagnosing_Malingering L2 - http://www.jaapl.org/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=28939732 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -