The legal basis of forensic psychiatry: statutorily mandated psychiatric diagnoses

Am J Psychiatry. 1987 Jul;144(7):847-53. doi: 10.1176/ajp.144.7.847.


Using the Oregon statutory scheme as an example, the authors review certain areas of the law where psychiatric expertise is mandated by statute. This review points out the diversity of determinations where forensic psychiatric expertise is required by law. The authors' thesis is that forensic psychiatry draws its vitality from the law. Legal requirements, however, should not dictate psychiatric response, which should be guided by psychiatric knowledge and ethical concerns.

MeSH terms

  • Capital Punishment / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Commitment of Mentally Ill / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Dangerous Behavior
  • Ethics, Medical
  • Expert Testimony / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Forensic Psychiatry / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Humans
  • Insanity Defense / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Oregon