Wednesday, December 19, 2012

French Psychiatrist guilty over Murder by Patient

BBC   A French court has found a psychiatrist guilty of involuntary homicide over a murder by one of her patients.

Daniele Canarelli was given a suspended prison sentence of one year, in the first case of its kind in France.

Her patient Joel Gaillard murdered a man in March 2004, 20 days after Gaillard fled a consultation with Canarelli at a hospital in Marseille.

Canarelli's lawyers said the verdict would lead to harsher treatment of patients by psychiatrists.

While accepting that there was no such thing as "zero risk" in such cases and that doctors could not predict the actions of their patients, the court found that Canarelli had made several mistakes in Gaillard's treatment.

In contrast to other medical professionals who have to make quick judgements about their patients, Canarelli had a longer period of time during which she should have realised Gaillard's treatment was failing, the court found. [...]


  1. RDE,
    What are your feelings about this as a therapist?



  2. It is a tough call. If the therapist knew of a threat against someone else then they are obligated to reveal the information. However in this case it seems that it could go either way.

    So yes I am in favor of responsibility - it just is not clear from the report that the psychiatrist was irresponsible.


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