It is inevitable that psychiatrists
engaged in medicolegal work will be the subject of complaint.
If you have, or the client upon whose behalf you
act has, a complaint, I need to know.
In the interests of transparency and openness,
and to avoid misunderstanding based on second-hand information,
in 25 years of medicolegal work, I have been the subject of
two serious complaints.
- the aggrieved parent, upon whose behalf I was
instructed in a family case to report on the mental health
of the ex-spouse, disagreed with my assessment but the independent
psychiatrist, who was instructed to adjudicate by the professional
body, concluded that I had not fallen below the standard expected
of an expert in forensic psychiatry;
- in a case where I was asked to advise
how to deal with a potential mental health problem of an employee,
and upon complaint by the employee, it was judged that in
my provision of general advice as to how to respond I had
conformed to the GMCs Guidance on Good Medical
dealing with matters so obscure and difficult the two
great professions of law and medicine ought rather to
feel for each others difficulties than to speak harshly
of each others shortcomings.
(Stephen J.F., History of the Criminal Law,
Vol 2. London, Macmillan, 1883)
© Prof Keith Rix 2015, Trading as Expert Psychiatric Evidence Ltd.