Posttraumatic stress disorder as an insanity defense: Medicolegal quicksand

Landy Sparr, R. M. Atkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A growing awareness of posttraumatic stress disorder has led to recent use of the disorder as a legal defense against criminal responsibility for both violent and nonviolent crimes. Diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder is difficult because the symptoms are mostly subjective, often nonspecific, usually well publicized, and, therefore, relatively easy to imitate. Accurate psychiatric testimony in such cases requires diligent seaching for collateral sources of information. The authors argue that the insanity defense is appropriate only in the rare instance that a dissociative episode related to posttraumatic stress disorder directly leads to criminal activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)608-613
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Volume143
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Insanity Defense
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders
Crime
Psychiatry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Posttraumatic stress disorder as an insanity defense : Medicolegal quicksand. / Sparr, Landy; Atkinson, R. M.

In: American Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 143, No. 5, 1986, p. 608-613.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{52e0f521c95f4634a5612c1afe19ec34,
title = "Posttraumatic stress disorder as an insanity defense: Medicolegal quicksand",
abstract = "A growing awareness of posttraumatic stress disorder has led to recent use of the disorder as a legal defense against criminal responsibility for both violent and nonviolent crimes. Diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder is difficult because the symptoms are mostly subjective, often nonspecific, usually well publicized, and, therefore, relatively easy to imitate. Accurate psychiatric testimony in such cases requires diligent seaching for collateral sources of information. The authors argue that the insanity defense is appropriate only in the rare instance that a dissociative episode related to posttraumatic stress disorder directly leads to criminal activity.",
author = "Landy Sparr and Atkinson, {R. M.}",
year = "1986",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "143",
pages = "608--613",
journal = "American Journal of Psychiatry",
issn = "0002-953X",
publisher = "American Psychiatric Association",
number = "5",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Posttraumatic stress disorder as an insanity defense

T2 - Medicolegal quicksand

AU - Sparr, Landy

AU - Atkinson, R. M.

PY - 1986

Y1 - 1986

N2 - A growing awareness of posttraumatic stress disorder has led to recent use of the disorder as a legal defense against criminal responsibility for both violent and nonviolent crimes. Diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder is difficult because the symptoms are mostly subjective, often nonspecific, usually well publicized, and, therefore, relatively easy to imitate. Accurate psychiatric testimony in such cases requires diligent seaching for collateral sources of information. The authors argue that the insanity defense is appropriate only in the rare instance that a dissociative episode related to posttraumatic stress disorder directly leads to criminal activity.

AB - A growing awareness of posttraumatic stress disorder has led to recent use of the disorder as a legal defense against criminal responsibility for both violent and nonviolent crimes. Diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder is difficult because the symptoms are mostly subjective, often nonspecific, usually well publicized, and, therefore, relatively easy to imitate. Accurate psychiatric testimony in such cases requires diligent seaching for collateral sources of information. The authors argue that the insanity defense is appropriate only in the rare instance that a dissociative episode related to posttraumatic stress disorder directly leads to criminal activity.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0022609063&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0022609063&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

C2 - 3963248

AN - SCOPUS:0022609063

VL - 143

SP - 608

EP - 613

JO - American Journal of Psychiatry

JF - American Journal of Psychiatry

SN - 0002-953X

IS - 5

ER -