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Psychiatric Malpractice

Cases and Comments for Clinicians

Robert I. Simon, M.D., and Robert L. Sadoff, M.D.

  • ISBN 978-0-88048-107-6
  • Item #8107

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What are the facts about psychiatric malpractice? Is it increasing? If so, how rapidly? What areas of psychiatric practice pose higher risks of legal liability?

The anxieties and uncertainties created by the increased threat of being sued for malpractice can interfere with the psychiatrist's provision of good clinical care. Through a general overview—as well as a discussion of specific legal cases—this volume presents the major malpractice traps encountered in everyday psychiatric practice.


  • Legal regulations. Malpractice law: an introduction. Intentional torts. Breach of confidentiality. Somatic therapies. Suicide. Sexual exploitation of patients. Violent behavior toward others. Premature release of potentially violent patients. Coping with a malpractice suit. Appendix 1: Duty to warn: overview and trends. Appendix 2: Duty to warn and/or protect: scope. Index of current cases.

About the Authors

Robert I. Simon, M.D., is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Program in Psychiatry and Law at Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C

Drs. Simon and Sadoff have come to the rescue of those still siting on the fence trying to decide whether blurring the boundaries of the therapeutic relationship can survive a risk/benefit analysis. Their book points out clearly, through significant legal case analyses, that the joy of the moment is nothing compared to the incredible pain and suffering resulting from exposure as a predatory practitioner. . . . Although Psychiatric Malpractice is not intended specifically to be a legal treatise, it is refreshing to note that Drs. Simon and Sadof exude a sophistication about the law that is not commonly found among members of the medical profession unless they have attended or completed formal legal training. . . . The therapists' PDR has just been published. It is Psychiatric Malpractice.—Journal of Legal Medicine

This book offers the practicing psychotherapist just about everything he or she would want to know about professional liability, such as how to recognize it and how to avoid it.—Journal of Clinical Psychiatry

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