The passing of the Mental Health Act defined the basic framework and range of psychiatric care in Poland. This act also takes makes provisions for the general principles of humanization of life and human rights. The present work discusses the historical and legal background of changes in approach to the mentally ill within the framework of the indications of the European Council.
This work discusses broadly understood psychiatric themes in the following Codes: the Penal Code, the Penal Proceedings Code and the Executory Penal Code due to be enforced on September l, 1998. Special attention is paid to those regulations which differ from previous ones. As far as the Penal Code is concerned, the focus is on the premises underlying therapeutic security measures and responsibility for criminal acts against life. All regulations of the Penal Proceedings Code which deal with participation of expert psychiatrists and psychologists in the legal proceedings are presented briefly together with a more extensive discussion of giving evidence based on court-psychiatric expert opinions and the procedure for adjudgement of therapeutic security measures. As far as the Executory Penal Code is concerned, the discussion focusses on the effects of ruling the insanity defense on the executory procedure, criminal commitment and therapeutic security measures. Analysis of the regulations of the new codes leads to the conclusion that the position of the psychiatrist and the psychologist in the Polish penal proceedings should be even stronger than before.
The author draws attention to the shortcomings of forensic-psychiatric examinations as perceived by practicing prosecutors. He discusses the problems of observation and presence of forensic psychiatrists at the trial. Practice suggests that, all in all, cooperation between court organs and prosecutors on the one hand and forensic psychiatrists on the other hand is good. Problems arise when minors or women are to be observed because of the Jack of separate institutions in which such observations may be carried out. Many hospitals do not have adequate facilities for such examinations and observations (e.g., they Jack appropriate security measures). In the author's opinion, articles 51 and 52 of the Mental Health Act facilitate cooperation between forensic psychiatrists and trial organs although the legislative regulations still have to be commented if the legislator's intentions are to be correctly interpreted.
The authors present a legal-comparative analysis of the legal foundations for the formulation of expert opinions on unaccountability together with the basic principles of examination. Both the psychological and the psychiatric aspects of unaccountability are discussed. Comparisons involve Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Poland.
The historical and legal background of forensic psychiatry in Great Britain is presented and compared with the situation in Poland. The major legal regulations of forensic psychiatry, collected in the 1983 Mental Health Act, are discussed. The structure and organization of forensic-psychiatric services are presented on the specific example of the Trent region.
The authors of this work discuss the position of the forensic psychiatrist within the Lithuanian Procedural-Penal Code. They give a detailed discussion of the procedure and principles of nomination of experts, the types of opinions issued by psychiatrists, the most frequent questions addressed to experts and cases and contingencies which exclude the presence of experts. In their conclusion the authors present a number of their own reflections and suggest several changes in the Lithuanian Procedural-Penal Code.
The authors present the state of psychiatry in Latvia following the countries' regaining of independence in 1990. Latvian psychiatry was centrally-controlled from Moscow and suffered from a shortage of staff, research workers and institutions adequately prepared to hospitalize involuntarily committed patients. Actually, the Centre plans to develop facilities for compulsory treatment of exceptionally dangerous, mentally disturbed criminal offenders. Latvian psychiatrists want to change the procedures for patient examination and the legal regulations concerning export forensic psychiatrists.
The authors discuss the current problems of the forensic psychiatrist. They give a general outline of the types of expert opinions which are given in penal and civil cases and draw attention to current legal regulations in Ukraine. On the grounds of both theoretical considerations and their own experience, they see the need to introduce regulations concerning greatly diminished accountability to Ukrainian legislation. Because of the lack of the concept of greatly diminished accountability in current legal regulations, forensic psychiatrists cannot differentiate their opinions concerning different clinical states.
The authors discuss the justifications for the insanity defence and analyze the psychological and sociological premises for its application. They quote the legal regulations currently in farce in Western Europe and justifications for use of the insanity defence to show that this formula should also oblige in the Lithuanian Penal-Procedural Code. They seek further justification in legal practice for the introduction of the concept of diminished accountability to Lithuanian legislation.
The author acquaints the reader with the basic issues of German social-forensic psychiatry. He presents both the historical background and current legal regulations concerning unaccountability and greatly diminished accountability. He also presents the principles underlying opinioning and execution of security measures. Part of the article is devoted to presentation of intervention programmes for insane legal offenders. The conditions of treatment and rehabilitation are discussed.
The author makes a controversial attempt to trace the sources of the use of psychopathological terms in political lingo. He does so on, the basis of the findings of research on Poles' application of their knowledge and education in their interpretation of contemporary social and political phenomena. The author does not intend to evaluate this or that authority. His purpose is to analyze the effects of psychological and cultural factors on the use of psychopathological jargon in public discourse.
The author presents the architectural, functional and organizational structure and technical security measures of the Regional Forensic Psychiatry Centre in Gostynin, the first Polish maximal security facility for the criminal detention of extremely dangerous patients. Procedures regulating admission to and discharge from this type of centre are presented and therapeutic programmes are outlined.
The conditions in which involuntary treatment takes place are presented. Ukrainian legislation has not changed since Soviet times. Therapeutic institutions still have repressive regulations. Detention in these institutions still results from the need to isolate dangerous people for the sake of social security. Less attention is paid to therapy and treatment.
The author presents the so-called TBS system (behavioral therapy) of treatment of insane criminal offenders, guilty of severe crimes, in the Netherlands. (Ed.)
The authors present several cases illustrating the unclarity of legal regulations concerning involuntarily committed patients and inconsistency of these regulations with the rights of psychiatric patients, guaranteed by the Mental Health Act and therapeutic community principles.
The author discusses the concept and diagnostics of reactive depression, paying particular attention to problems of diagnosis and differentiation vis a vis the ICD-10 criteria. (Ed.)
Crime in depressive states is rare and specific. Accountability depends on the severity of change and ranges from complete unaccountability (insanity) in psychotic states and severe depressions to complete accountability in cases of long-term, complete remission. Similar proceedings apply in civil law. If the depression is light, declarations of will and wills shall be accepted. Each case, however, must be treated individually. Reactive depressive syndromes may also develop after an act has been committed. Another issue which is discussed in this article is disability. Depressive disorders usually lead to only periodical incapacity to work and only very seldom to permanent or greatly diminished capacity to work.
Depression is a serious and complicated medical and social problem and its complexity also affects forensic-psychiatric jurisdiction. Various aspects of opinion formulation, e.g., simulation, aggravation, differential diagnosis, prognostication and threatened suicide are discussed.
In cases when the victim of severe mental and physical torment dies a suicide's death, all the forensic psychiatrist called in to analyze the relationship between the trauma, the experience of depression and the act of suicide can do is to carry out a penetrating analysis of the documentation and formulate resulting conclusions. The case described in this article addresses this problem and the final opinion responds to the court's question as to whether or not the mental health of the deceased victim of violence may have caused reactive depression and the resulting act of suicide.
The author presents differences in diagnosis of reactive disorders and defensiveness (their characteristics, intensity) in criminal offenders, leading to two-track evaluations in the forensic-psychiatric opinions of psychiatric experts and in certificates issued by psychiatrists who are not acting as experts in the case in question.
The author reviews the literature on simulated depression. He describes four cases of prisoners sentenced for various very serious crimes against property. Simulated depression during forensic-psychiatric examinations. He shows that careful observation of the prisoners' mental stale and analysis of their psychopathological symptoms allowed him to tell pseudodepression from genuine affective disorders.
The authors present clinical portraits of reactive disorders in several groups selected on the basis of the nature of illegal offences committed in 1991-1997. All in all, 520 forensic-psychiatric observations were submitted to analysis, allowing comparison with Lidia Uszkiewiczowa's findings. Attention is drawn to the major changes in the manifestations of reactive disorders as well as the relationships between reactive disorders and selected categories of crime. This relationship differs significantly from those suggested the 1960-1970 report. Analysis of current trends has revealed new psycho-social and legal determinants of reactive conditions and suggests that such disorder s were erroneously diagnosed in the past.