Did Military Psychiatry Fail to Detect Major Hasan's Emotional Turmoil?

November 6, 2009
Ronald W. Pies, MD
Ronald W. Pies, MD

Dr Pies is Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Lecturer on Bioethics and Humanities, SUNY Upstate Medical University; Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Tufts University School of Medicine; and Editor in Chief Emeritus of Psychiatric Times (2007-2010). Dr Pies is the author of several books. A collection of his works can be found on Amazon.

Some would ask whether the psychiatric system at Ft. Hood adequately assessed the mental state of Army Maj Nidal Malik Hasan, the man accused of yesterday's shooting rampage on the base.

Some would ask whether the psychiatric system at Ft. Hood adequately assessed the mental state of Army Maj Nidal Malik Hasan, the man accused of yesterday's shooting rampage on the base.

Maj Hasan, 39, was reportedly about to be deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, despite his vehement and public objections to the wars both on the Internet and to colleagues.1 It is not clear to what extent Maj Hasan's clinical supervisors were monitoring his emotional state prior to the rampage, or whether timely intervention might have averted the tragedy.

While prediction of individual violent acts remains extraordinarily difficult, it is fair to ask if Maj Hasan belonged in a "high risk" category that should have provoked greater scrutiny from supervising medical
personnel.
 

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Reference


1.

Blackledge BJ.

Details emerge about Fort Hood suspect background