Archives 1992-2013

1995, volume 4, issue 2

zagadnienia psychiatrii sądowej poglądy

Forensic-psychiatric expertises and errors in their preparation

Danuta Hajdukiewicz
Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii, 1995, 4, 105-113

The author discusses the objectives and competencies of forensic psychiatric experts who prepare forensic-psychiatric expertises in criminal procedures, the materials on which such opinions are based, the form, content and types of expertises (categorical, probable and alternative). Attention is also drawn to the most frequent errors in the preparation of such expertises.

zagadnienia psychiatrii sądowej poglądy

Some determinants of relativism in forensic-psychological expertises

Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii, 1995, 4, 115-121

The author draws attention to several determinants of relativism in forensic-psychological expertises. These include an excessive tendency towards statistical interpretation of test findings as well as errors due to the use of a diverse range of psychological instruments and methods lacking in terminological homogeneity. Among other errors he includes excessive focus on "organic" variables (results of organic tests, EEG, TC) as significant behaviour determinants. According to the author, more information for the explanation of illegal human behaviour can be gleaned from the analysis of the motivational process and especially those functions of this process which are formed by social norms and value networks, i.e., universal ones. One cannot infer the understanding of social norms and the essence of human bonds from psychological assessment. When analyzing human motivation the psychologist should take into account the widely conceived human problem and include the experience of other thought systems, e.g. ethics, religion and anthropology. In particular, he/she ought to monitor the effects of modern culture, life-styles, economic transformation on human behaviour and the reception of these phenomena by the young generation.

zagadnienia psychiatrii sądowej poglądy

The ideals of the democratic legally governed state and the situation of forensic psychiatry in Poland

Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii, 1995, 4, 123-130

The author proposes a discussion of the basic concepts and procedures of forensic-psychiatric jurisdiction from the perspective of the ideals of the legally governed democratic state. The Editors are aware of the controversial nature of many of the authors interpretations and suggestions. However, history has frequently proved the value of discussing seemingly self-evident problems. "Postępy" will be open to such discussions. (Eds.)

zagadnienia psychiatrii sądowej poglądy

Preparation of forensic-psychiatric and psychological-pedagogical expertises of sixteen- and seventeen-year-old criminal offenders: Legal regulations

LESZEK CISZEWSKI, Teresa Gordon, Danuta Hajdukiewicz
Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii, 1995, 4, 131-136

Polish criminal law states that sixteen-year-old offenders who have committed grave offenses and seventeen-year-old minor offenders may, depending on the court verdict, be tried according to the Juvenile Delinquent Act or the Criminal Law Act. Both acts require a different range of psychiatric and psychological assessment as well as different expert skills. In the case of sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds it is necessary to submit both kinds of assessment findings, since only jointly can they adequately inform the court. The present authors observe that these assessments should be conducted by two separate groups of experts and that the forensic-psychiatric expertise should follow the psychological-pedagogical one. The authors also believe that both assessments should tackle the crucial problems stated in art. 9 par. 2 and 3 of the Criminal Law Act, i.e., whether the offender is psychologically and socially mature enough to be liable to penalty or whether only educational and corrective measures should be applied.

zagadnienia psychiatrii sądowej poglądy

Some problems related to the detention in psychiatric hospital of criminal offenders with diminished responsibility

Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii, 1995, 4, 137-142

The authors indicate the difficulties caused in psychiatric hospitals by interned offenders with reduced responsibility who are criminals from the legal point of view. They provide examples illustrating dangerous behaviour of these detainees following the court hospital release order but prior to transfer to prison for their prison sentence.


Evaluation of forensic-psychiatric expertises issued in the eases of sixteen-year-old grave offenders

Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii, 1995, 4, 143-148

The author evaluates and discusses 20 forensic-psychiatric expertises of sixteen-year-old delinquents accused of grave offenders. In Polish law sixteen-year-old grave offenders can be tried according to one of two different normative acts, the Juvenile Delinquent Act or the Criminal Law Act. The above situation generates confusion and irregularities in psychiatric assessment. The aim of the present study was to point to some of these irregularities. Following analysis of 20 forensic-psychiatric expertises of sixteen-year-old offenders the author stresses the following irregularities: the considerable delay in assessment, unsuitable choice of experts, limiting the scope of the assessment to mere routine problems of adults, the fact that the forensic assessment precedes the psychological-pedagogical one. The present author also points to the ineptitude of some courts who fail to specify the range of the required assessment.


General characteristics of patients detained in psychiatric hospitals in Poland. A preliminary report

Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii, 1995, 4, 149-156

Eight-hundred-and-fifty patients, i.e., 98 percent of the whole population of detainees in psychiatric hospitals in Poland in 1994, were studied. The aim was to describe this group. It was found that the group was less numerous than in the sixties and seventies and that it was relatively smaller than corresponding groups in such European countries as Germany and the United Kingdom. In comparison with other psychiatric patients, the group under study revealed considerable intensity of negative clinical and pathological features (among others – a very high proportion of gravely disturbed persons, repeatedly hospitalized before, with long detention periods). They also manifested significant deficiency of social adaptation (loneliness, lack of education, professional passivity, violation of basic legal norms).

Uzależnienie od benzodiazepin

Benzodiazepine dependence: Pharmacological aspects

Adam Płaźnik
Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii, 1995, 4, 157-170

Benzodiazepine derivatives are among the most popular anxiolytic drugs. The most serious negative drawbacks of this group of drugs are their amnesiogenic nature, increased tolerance of psychotropic effects, and dependence. This paper analyzes the CNS mechanisms responsible for tolerance and dependence. On the basis of a review of biochemical, electrophysiological and behavioural animal studies the author suggests that both these phenomena may be caused by gradual development of hypoactivity of the central GABA-ergic system which is related to GABA-A receptors. At the cellular level this process is manifest in the weakening of the intensity of the chloride current triggered by the GABA-A receptor which leads to weaker inhibition of the limbic structures responsible for emotional mediation. In light of this conception of benzodiazepine tolerance development the group of partial antagonists of the benzodiazepine receptor (bretazenil, imidazenil) and selective agonists of the benzodiazepine 1, i.e., omega-1, receptor (alpidem, zolpidem) present themselves favourably. Because they have a weaker stimulating effect on the GABA-A receptor or affect only a fraction of this receptor type, these groups of medications do not cause excessive readjustment of the GABA-energic system and leave room for the activity of the endogenic neurotransmitter – gamma aminobutyric acid. This leads to weaker tolerance development.

Uzależnienie od benzodiazepin

Benzodiazepine dependence: clinical aspects

Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii, 1995, 4, 171-180

The most important clinical problems related to benzodiazepine dependence are presented. The dependence potential, types of syndromes following withdrawal and the symptomatology of abstinence syndromes are discussed. The epidemiological significance of this type of dependence is also indicated (Eds.).


The use of β-hexosaminidase as a marker for sobriety monitoring. Preliminary findings

Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii, 1995, 4, 181-188

The aim of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of β-hexosaminidase for sobriety monitoring among alcoholics. In a group of 18 patients participating in fluvoxamine programme β -hexosaminidase activity in serum and urine was measured. It was found that: (1) β-hexosaminidase activity was elevated both in serum and in urine for one week and sometimes for two weeks after heavy drinking. It rapidly decreased as the patient continued abstinence. (2) The dynamics of decrease was bigger in urine. (3) Measurement of β-hexosaminidase activity in urine can be more useful than in serum because it is noninvasive and possibly gives less false positive results.

Postaci psychiatrów

Bolesław Ałapin (1913-1985)

Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii, 1995, 4, 189-204

The life of Bolesław Ałapin (1913- 1985), one of the most picturesque members of the Warsaw psychiatric circles after the war, illustrates the history of Jewish Poles. It attests the victory of the need for self-realization over death, optimism over the pessimism caused by the atrocities of war, but also proves that the consecutive experiences of Shoah and then Stalinism at times rendered people defenceless in the face of the communist mirage of a better and more just world.