Psychological Autopsy

Psychological autopsy is one of the most valuable tools of research on completed suicide. The method involves collecting all available information on the deceased via structured interviews of family members, relatives or friends as well as attending health care personnel. In addition, information is collected from available health care and psychiatric records, other documents, and forensic examination. Thus a psychological …

Officer-Involved Shooting

“According to a witness who saw the subject running from the officers, the witness saw the subject shoot a handgun in the direction of the pursuing officers,” said LAPD Deputy Chief Robert Arcos during a news conference. “While the loss of life is always tragic, it is particularly so when the loss involves a youth.” The teenager, identified as Jesse …

Personal Injury

Every tort claim, regardless of its basis, whether intentional, negligence, or strict liability, has two basic issues—liability and damages. Was the defendant liable for the damages you sustained, and, if so, what is the nature and extent of your damages? If you can prove liability and damages, our system of justice will award you compensation for your loss. Personal injury …

Malpractice Litigation

Suicide and Malpractice Litigation Common settings for suicides resulting in litigation •Psychiatric inpatient units •Correctional settings (e.g., jail; prison) •Outpatient mental health treatment May Increase Litigation Lack of communication between clinician and survivors prior to suicide* • Psychoeducation re: patient’s clinical condition and suicide risk • Suicide safety plan: involvement of family • Availability of clinician: management of expectations *Patient …

Psychoactive Substances and ‘Addiction’

Psychoactive substances are chemicals that affect the way an individual feels. This chapter will focus on those psychoactive substances that are abused, including alcohol, illicit drugs, and certain prescribed medications, such as painkillers. In addition to affecting mood states, psychoactive substances may have profound effects on cognition, behavior, and physiology, and therefore they influence how we function in an interpersonal …

Brain disease: Forensic Neuropsychiatric Issues

Neuropsychiatry is a medical discipline that specializes in the evaluation and treatment of behavioral disturbance that results from brain disease. Those neurologists and psychiatrists who have specialized training in brainbehavior relationships are capable of undertaking such an investigation and making appropriate determinations. Diagnostic work-up usually includes a detailed medical and behavioral history, complete neurological/physical examination, a thorough psychiatric interview, and …

Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation

The journey to a healthy, sober life is not a quick and easy one. It is a lifelong commitment of dedication and hard work. The rewards gained from transforming a life of addiction into a life of recovery, however, are immeasurable and well worth the effort. Like any journey, the road to sobriety begins with simple steps forward. The specific …

Involuntary Hospitalization

Like every state, Illinois has civil commitment laws that establish criteria for determining when involuntary treatment is appropriate for individuals with severe mental illness who cannot seek care voluntarily. Illinois is one of only 17 states that provide access to treatment on the basis of need, in addition to considerations of dangerousness. Illinois’ laws also allow for the use of …

Drug Testing and Analysis

As the incidence of drugs escalates in 21st century living, their detection and analysis have become increasingly important. Sport, the workplace, crime investigation, homeland security, the pharmaceutical industry and the environment are just some of the high profile arenas in which analytical testing has provided an important investigative tool for uncovering the presence of extraneous substances. In addition to the …

Substance-Abuse

People abuse substances such as drugs, alcohol, and tobacco for varied and complicated reasons, but it is clear that our society pays a significant cost. The toll for this abuse can be seen in our hospitals and emergency departments through direct damage to health by substance abuse and its link to physical trauma. Jails and prisons tally daily the strong …