Skip to comments.Killerís psychiatrist can be sued by victimís family, Washington Supreme Court says
Posted on 12/25/2016 11:18:48 AM PST by aimhigh
The family of a Spokane woman who was murdered along with her son can pursue a lawsuit over whether the killers psychiatrist should have done more to protect them, the Washington Supreme Court held in a case with implications for mental-health professionals around the state.
(Excerpt) Read more at seattletimes.com ...
Well if the plaintiff wins, expect anyone who seeks psychiatric help to be committed.
While lawyers have full employment, psychiatrists are moviing out.
Therapist: "Now just lie back on the couch and tell me who you are angry with, so I can report you to the state. The sooner we get you behind bars, the better."
The person who certifies that a homicidal maniac is fit to be released into civil society, should serve the same term if the killer murders again.
Including judges and parole boards.
Heads up ping
Some more dismantling of the doctor patient privilege.
Can we also expect to see the much more needed dismantling of the attorney client privilege that shields so much crime?
The Nazis and the communist would be proud.
Psychiatrists are in a tough place. I’ve attended the American Psychiatric Association’s programs on protection from litigation. It’s pretty bad...
They are often sued by the families of people committing suicide for not stopping it.
They can’t get rid of a client no matter what, even for non payment of services unless they find another psychiatrist to take the client, or they are liable for the patients actions.
Psychiatrists are damned if they do and damned if they don’t, especially as it relates to involuntary commitments.
HIPPA protects your patient’s disclosure even to family members unless they consent.
Here is an excerpt of an excellent article from the Journal of Psychiatry on this subject:
Claims examiners and risk managers who review complaints and lawsuits against psychiatrists take note of certain behaviors that increase professional liability risk. To illustrate this point, we offer the following list, gleaned from actual cases, of 20 surefire steps to increase your risk of a malpractice lawsuit (or a board complaint).
Documenting only the first suicidal risk assessment done on a patient; not documenting ongoing monitoring and evaluation of suicidality
Allowing a patient with suicidal behaviors to be lost to follow up
Neglecting to document the clinical basis for ordering a change in the level of patient supervision and/or level of care for a patient with suicidal behaviors
Not responding at all (even appropriately within professional standards) to family members who call with concerns about a patient with suicidal behaviors because you don’t have an authorization from the patient to release treatment information to the family member(s)
Failing to evaluate the safety of the environment for a patient with suicidal behaviors, e.g., accessibility of firearms and other weapons
Failing to warn a third party (or take alternative appropriate steps) when a dangerous patient has identified the party as a potential victim, as allowed or required by law
Thinking that the other clinician in a collaborative treatment (shared or split treatment) relationship will know what patient information is important to discuss with you and when to call you without ever having had an agreement or discussion about these expectations with the other clinician
Prescribing lithium without conducting regular tests on lithium and electrolyte levels and performing other relevant monitoring/testing
Prescribing psychotropic medications without going through the informed consent process (and documenting it), especially when prescribing off-label for children.
Failing to document what medications have been ordered, the basis for prescribing the medications, and changes to medications
Sending a patient’s overdue bill straight to collections without reviewing the chart and speaking to the patient about it
Assuming that the patient will be grateful and, therefore, not sue you for providing care that falls below the standard of care, because you are helping by providing at least minimal care since the patient cannot sufficiently pay for your services
Allowing patients to pay for services by mowing your lawn, washing your car, painting your house, babysitting your kids, etc.
Failing to conduct a thorough neurological evaluation on a patient who presents with decreased level of consciousness, an altered mental state, or who falls during hospitalization
Ignoring the steps in the clinician-patient termination process
Summarily terminating treatment with a patient who is in crisis (e.g., a patient assessed to be a danger to self or others), believing this will decrease potential malpractice risk in the event of an adverse clinical outcome
Assuming that your clinical rationale and professional judgment, which is the basis for the patient’s treatment plan, does not need to be documented in the patient record
Ignoring a subpoena for patient records or to testify, since you are not sure of the proper response, or, conversely, anytime you receive a subpoena, releasing the patient’s record right away
Deciding not to establish a patient record for a patient who has very sensitive issues to discuss in treatment
Altering a patient record after an adverse event
Becoming involved in a sexual relationship with a patient
Each of these items on the list comes straight from the files of claims and risk management reviews of lawsuits and medical licensing board disciplinary actions against psychiatrists. It is by no means an exhaustive inventory of the pathways that can lead to increased professional liability risk, but it includes some of the most common ones.
This is one of my problems with the VA hospital...
They often put psychologists and social workers over psychiatrists.
Psychologists and social workers do not have an MD degree and often don’t know how to distinguish between a biological and psychological cause.
I recently had a military psychologist threatened with license suspension as she testified in a court deposition that an army Staff Sargent did not have TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) which is a medical determination. She withdrew her deposition after I threatened her with practicing medicine without a license.
Too many of the military psychologists came out of the prison systems where they had an adversarial relationship with the patients and they carry that to the military. They are doing much harm to active duty military and vets.
Forgive me for not having any sympathy here.
Every SINGLE psychiatrist who has ever prescribed a mind-altering drug to a patiednt has committed malpractice per se in my bview, because none of them really know what those drugs do to an individual.
Psychiatrists basically cycle their guinea-pig patients with drug after mind altering drug while knowing that they really have no clue how those drugs affect the brain, or how they will affect the individual in front of them.
As a result, people are often turned into lethargic zombies, have tehir personalities changed, without being helped in any meaningful way.
And, in the worst cases - those drugs cause violent outbursts, sometimes of the mass-murdering variety, that the psychiatrist and the drug manufacturers are never held responsible for.
You often hear the lame excuse that “well, the reason he went off the deep end because he stopped taking the drug” as a “magic shield” against responsibility.
What they don’t say - and what is obvious to those who have studied the effects of many of these mind-altering psychiatric drugs - is that the drugs themselves, in addition to changing personalities and having myriad otehr side effects,often remove the normal physiological methods that a person has for exercising self-control, or for controlling their actions.
Then, when that individual, for whatever reason (including the creeping realization that the drugs are destroying his perception of reality) stops taking those drugs, sometimes they are vulnerable to mood swings and irrational actions while their brain is trying to restore its natural equilibrium, which will take months or longer to do.
In those cases (and they are the ones making the headlines every time some maniac in a haze largely caused by the psychiatric “medications” commits mass murder), the cause of the irrational action is NOT that “he stopped taking his medication”; The REAL cause is that he STARTED taking that medication in the first place.
I am 100% convinced based on my own experience and laymans study of this topic that few, if any of these individuals who have committed atrocities while under the influence of these “medications”, or while weaning themselves off them, would have committed such acts IF THEY HAD NEVER STARTED ON THESE DRUGS IN TEH FIRST PLACE.
Wake up folks. The only difference between a psychiatrist and a witch doctor is a suit and a piece of paper hanging on the wall. And the witch doctor is probably less harmful in many cases because he does not have at his disposal a cornucopia of phramaceutical poisons.
>Another full employment ruling for lawyers. Kind of like suing geologists for failing to predict an earthquake.
Sorry, but when did psychiatry become more than an ‘art’? Did they\we make some break-through in science, of the brain/mappings/etc., to know ABC about patient XYZ? Far as I’ve ever understood, this isn’t some symptom-A-solution-B field...
Field wanted to be taken ‘seriously’. Well, welcome to the fall-out of that decision.
The Washington State Supreme Court is dominated by wild eyed leftists who want to dictate the state’s budget and create new taxes. Totally out of control.
I've advocated holding the 'shrinks', parole board, judges financially and other responsible for the crimes of the folks they turn loose as the only way anything would ever be done about these miscarriages of justice.
They have always been immune from being held responsible for their actions.
This may be the breakthrough. Maybe the judges, healthcare, penal system authorities will put more thought and effort into their diagnosis.
The psychiatrist should have worked with the State to take the guy’s guns away.
Please check your freepmail.. Thanks..
Very bad court decision just glancing at it
“While lawyers have full employment, psychiatrists are moviing out.”
While there is no shortage of lawyers nationwide, there is a severe shortage of psychiatrists and so the shortage will get critical in Washington real quickly!
I’ve advocated holding the ‘shrinks’, parole board, judges financially and other responsible for the crimes of the folks they turn loose as the only way anything would ever be done about these miscarriages of justice.
They have always been immune from being held responsible for their actions.
This may be the breakthrough. Maybe the judges, healthcare, penal system authorities will put more thought and effort into their diagnosis”
Just adding my ditto to that.
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