Sale, Claudia (2013) La Responsabilità penale in psichiatria. Doctoral Thesis.
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In the criminal law of medicine, psychiatry stands out to two of its distinctive features: physical and pharmacological coercion on the patient, and harm caused by the latter’s acts of aggression towards himself or others.
The thesis focuses on these aspects in terms of criminal law. The author identifies the limits within which it is possible to limit the patient’s personal freedom, and ascertains which crimes are constituted if those limits are not respected.
Attention is then turned towards the jurisprudence to the duty of care the psychiatrist, also regarding any acts of harm committed by the unbalanced patient, especially extreme forms such as suicide or murder. Criticisms of this are raised, based on the requirement that a therapist is only obliged to treat, and not to guard, the patient.
Much of the work is dedicated to the identification of behavioral rules that must be closely adhered to in order to prevent the patient from carrying out any actions which my be detrimental to himself or to others. On this point, the related criteria are analyzed: psychiatrist model, guidelines and practices. The need to use a criterion that ensures prior knowledgeability, as well as the evident need to guarantee that the principle of legality in criminal law is respected, are emphasized.
Finally, causality and its necessity in the interpretation of the criterion imposed by the United Chambers of the Supreme Court are taken into account. This criterion is not always followed, resulting in procedural shortcuts which undermine the judgment of causality. All Supreme Court rulings in the field of psychiatry in the last ten years are analyzed. Plausibility is evaluated through doctrinal contributions.
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