Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Psychiatrist in abuse case retracts evaulation


Dr. Yaakov Weill, who wrote the psychiatric evaluation of the mother suspected of starving her three-year-old son, has changed his mind and now says the woman does pose a threat to her children.

Weill's opinion, among other factors, contributed to the court's decision to release the suspect to house arrest with her children

Following his meeting with the mother last week, Dr. Weill concluded she was not dangerous to her children. However, in a letter recently sent to the rabbis who assisted the mother during her arrest, the psychiatrist wrote that he wishes to recant on his earlier estimate that the mother "can continue carrying out her parental duties to her children without risk."

"I did not have the sufficient tools to determine this," Weill said in a letter to Rabbi Avraham Froelich, who hosted the woman after she was remanded to house arrest.

"I wish to stress that I did not consider myself an expert witness appointed by the court, but was merely obliging you, the rabbis, who asked me to examine her," he added. [...]


  1. I find this very interesting

    How do forensic psychiatrists come to conclusions in general?

    Is it at all possible for a human being to predict future actions of another human being?

    This episode left me wondering about forensic psychiatry in general...

  2. Psychology is not very good at predicting future behavior and it is even worse at ascertaining whether a person committed a crime purely based on psychological diagnosis.

    It is not unusual for the prosecuter and defendant to have separate expert witnesses i.e., psychologists - that come to diametrically opposite conclusions.

    Of course if the person announces to the psychologist that he has hostile feelings towards someone and would like that person hurt - you don't have to be a psychologist to conclude that precautions should be taken.

    Psychologists can be good at asking useful questions - but in this case the chief psychiatrist concluded that Dr. Weill had no legitimate basis for his conclusions which Dr. Weill eventually retracted.

  3. Mekubal,

    I wanted to send you some information about people who were converted by Tropper himself and Rabinovitch where he did not ask for 3 months separation but I could not find your email address in your blog, I was going to ask rabbi Eidensohn to forward it to you but then I saw that he already posted a proof of it.

    As it said:
    Zadikim melachtam naaset beidei acherim ( you see I am a real tzadik, OK Just kidding)


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