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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 GMC’s Guidance on ‘Good Medical Practice’.

“…in 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.