Psychiatric Times Vol 15 No 1

Oregon Suicide Law in Limbo for Now

January 01, 1998

Approval of the nation's first physician-assisted suicide law last November has proved the adage "be careful what you wish for." In the aftermath of the Oregon initiative that once again endorsed the state's Death with Dignity Act, physicians and government officials throughout the country are now scrambling to make sense of the law and figure out ways to assure that compliance doesn't lead to liability, both criminal and civil.

Is It Ethical for Psychiatrists to Participate in Competency-To-Be-Executed Evaluations?

January 01, 1998

In its 1986 decision in Ford v. Wainwright, the U.S. Supreme Court found that death row prisoners had a constitutional right not to be executed if they were incompetent (477 U.S. 399 [1986]). Competence for execution-an odd concept, but one whose roots go back to biblical times-usually requires that a prisoner understand the nature of the punishment about to be imposed and why it is being imposed.

Is It Ethical for Psychiatrists to Participate in Competency-To-Be-Executed Evaluations?

January 01, 1998

In its 1986 decision in Ford v. Wainwright, the U.S. Supreme Court found that death row prisoners had a constitutional right not to be executed if they were incompetent (477 U.S. 399 [1986]). Competence for execution-an odd concept, but one whose roots go back to biblical times-usually requires that a prisoner understand the nature of the punishment about to be imposed and why it is being imposed.

Alleged Unabomber Puts Psychiatry on Trial

January 01, 1998

For 17 years, claim federal prosecutors, Theodore Kaczynski terrorized the nation with a string of 16 bombings that killed three people and injured 23 more. On trial now for his life, the alleged Unabomber's case will most likely hinge on the expert testimony proffered by a covey of psychiatrists and psychologists scheduled to be called as witnesses as the case unfolds in U.S. District Court in Sacramento, Calif. this month.

Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists (AGLP)

January 01, 1998

The Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists (AGLP) is a professional organization of psychiatrists, residents, medical students and supporters, which serves as a voice for the concerns of lesbians and gay men in the professional psychiatric community. AGLP is committed to fostering a more accurate understanding of homosexuality, ensuring well-informed and appropriate treatment for lesbians and gay men, and opposing discriminatory practices against gays and lesbians in our society.

Examining Anger in 'Culture-Bound' Syndromes

January 01, 1998

"Hwa-byung" and "ataque de nervios," listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) as culture-bound syndromes, can serve as gateways to understanding anger's role in psychiatric morbidity, according to a panel of experts.

The Internet and MEDLINE

January 01, 1998

In 1997, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) helped initiate a new era in American medicine when it made MEDLINE, its comprehensive online bibliography of published medical information, accessible to the public through the World Wide Web. That event may prove to be a symbolic watershed of 20th century American medicine. It will impact every aspect of medicine, from the manner in which physicians are educated to the way they run their daily practices.

Psychotherapy for Gay and Lesbian Clients

January 01, 1998

Scientific, social or legal redefinition is only slowly reflected in changed practitioners and practices. It is not surprising that surveys continue to report high levels of ignorance and prejudice encountered by homosexuals in their contacts with health care providers. This also contributes to a negative feedback loop in which many homosexuals are reluctant to utilize, inform or confront their care providers, impairing collaboration in treatment.

Therapist-Patient Race and Sex Matching: Predictors of Treatment Duration

January 01, 1998

Many of the factors purported to influence accessing mental health services by men and ethnic minorities are systemic in nature, ingrained within our culture, and consequently, difficult to change (e.g., gender differences in attitudes toward help-seeking, ethnic differences in the use of alternative healing resources). However efforts have been made within the mental health system to make services more acceptable to men and minority group members who choose to, or are able to, access the system.

Is It Ethical for Psychiatrists to Participate in Competency-To-Be-Executed Evaluations?

January 01, 1998

What counts as participation in capital punishment? Is it possible for a medical activity to be ethical in one context, but a similar one not ethical in another? Is death different? Are there neat and universal ethical rules that will always guide us wisely, or are there inevitable clashes among various legitimate and important values? Is it ethically possible that a forensic psychiatrist is not a psychiatrist, as Dr. Paul Appelbaum has argued? How strongly should physicians protect their duty to always help and not harm all individual patients in the face of many pressures to do otherwise?

Is It Ethical for Psychiatrists to Participate in Competency-To-Be-Executed Evaluations?

January 01, 1998

In its 1986 decision in Ford v. Wainwright, the U.S. Supreme Court found that death row prisoners had a constitutional right not to be executed if they were incompetent (477 U.S. 399 [1986]). Competence for execution-an odd concept, but one whose roots go back to biblical times-usually requires that a prisoner understand the nature of the punishment about to be imposed and why it is being imposed.