AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

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AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Virtual Mentor. October 2013, Volume 15, Number 10: 825-920.

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October 2013 Contents

Mental Health and the Law

Ethics Poll

Most states have some restrictions on people who have been convicted of sex crimes after they have served their criminal sentences. The restrictions range from commitment in “nonpunitive,” civil facilities to limitations on where the offenders can live to publicly available registries of their home addresses. Which of the following best describes what you think about these postprison restrictions?
Civil commitment is necessary because most people convicted of sex crimes reoffend.
It is justified to restrict where sex offenders can live and to keep public registries of their addresses, but not to confine them in civil facilities.
If the person has completed his or her prison sentence and is not subject to civil commitment, it is unjust to restrict where he or she can live or to publish his or her home address for everyone to discover.
I don’t know enough about the nature of sex offense to say whether or not such restrictions are justified.

Which of the following best describes what you think when you read or hear in the media a physician’s comment on the actions and mental health of a person accused of a mass killing?
I give the physician’s statement more credence than I would that of a bystander or reporter.
I take the physician’s statement in the same vein that I would that of a bystander or reporter.
I discredit the opinion because it is unethical for a physician to make comments on the health of someone, whether that person is a patient or not.
I worry that the physician’s opinion will influence the accused person’s judge or jury.

“Sanism” refers to a prejudice on the part of society, judges, and juries against people with mental illness. Do you believe that “sanism” is prevalent in U.S. society?
Yes.
No.
Don't know. (To learn what the attorney who coined the word "sanism" thinks about this question, see "Medicine and Society" in the October issue of VM.)

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From the Editor

To Treat, Advocate, and Protect
Laura M. Blinkhorn
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2013; 15:827-828.

Educating for Professionalism

Ethics Cases

Speculating on a Public Figure’s Mental Health
Commentary by John Henning Schumann
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2013; 15:829-833.

Pedophilia: Is There a Duty to Report?
Commentary by Fabian M. Saleh and H. Martin Malin
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2013; 15:834-839.

The Treating Psychiatrist and Worker’s Compensation Reporting
Commentary by Charles C. Dike
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2013; 15:840-843.

Civil Commitment for Substance Abuse
Commentary by Jeffrey C. Eisen
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2013; 15:844-849.

The Code Says

AMA Code of Medical Ethics’ Opinions on Discussing Patients with Third Parties
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2013; 15:850-851.

Journal Discussion

The Evolving Definition of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Legal Ramifications
Daniel Yohanna and Maxwell R. Rovner
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2013; 15:852-856.

State of the Art and Science

Dynamic Descriptions of Personality Disorder in the DSM-5
Carl C. Bell
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2013; 15:857-859.

Law, Policy, and Society

Health Law

Juvenile Forensic Psychiatric Evaluations
Susan Buratto and Stephen H. Dinwiddie
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2013; 15:860-865.

Policy Forum

Court Diversion for Juveniles with Mental Health Disorders
Eric Trupin, Sarah Cusworth Walker, Hathaway Burden, and Mary Helen Roberts
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2013; 15:866-872.

Civil Commitment for Sex Offenders
Corey Rayburn Yung
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2013; 15:873-877.

Medicine and Society

Sanism and the Law
Michael L. Perlin
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2013; 15:878-885.

History, Art, and Narrative

History of Medicine

Deinstitutionalization of People with Mental Illness: Causes and Consequences
Daniel Yohanna
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2013; 15:886-891.

Medical Narrative

Mental Illness, Inside and Out
Fred Friedman, as told to Laura M. Blinkhorn
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2013; 15:892-897.

Op-Ed and Correspondence

Op-Ed

Registries, Violence, and Threats of Harm
Howard Zonana
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2013; 15:898-903.

Resources

Suggested Readings and Resources
PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2013; 15:904-917.

About the Contributors
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2013; 15:918-920.