2008 issue 1


Volume 17, issue 1

Practical hints

Contents of certificates issued by the psychiatrist and his professional functions

Danuta Hajdukiewicz1
1. Klinika Psychiatrii Sądowej Instytutu Psychiatrii i Neurologii w Warszawie
Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii 2008; 17 (1): 71-75
Keywords: law, psychiatric certificates


Objectives. To remind psychiatrists the scope and contents of expert certificates they deliver, depending on the professional function performed, in order to prevent their exceeding their competences.
Review. As a forensic witness in criminal proceedings the psychiatrist in his expert psychiatric opinion formulates the evaluations he is obligated to by Article 202 Par. 4 of the penal code, and namely concerning the perpetrator 's sanity at the time of the alleged deed and competence to stand trial, as well as the necessity of protective measures implementation, if needed. Moreover, the expert wittn ess is obligated to answer additional questions asked by the authority competent to pursuit the penal proceedings, while in civil proceedings his evaluations depend on the type ofproceedings. As a forensic medical expert the psychiatrist is authorized to issue a certificate that a given party is unable to appear in the court in response to the summons (on a certain date, and with the period of this inability specified), or to inform the authority competent to pursuit the proceedings.
Conclusions. The psychiatrist treating a patient on the outpatient basis has the right to issue a certificate about the treatment provided, either on the patient's request, for another physician involved in the patient's treatment (on the physician 's request), or on request of a legally authorized body - on condition that the person to be examined shall be informed about that prior to examination.

Address for correspondence:
Dr Danuta Hajdukiewicz
Klinika Psychiatrii Sądowej, Instytut Psychiatrii i Neurologii
ul. Sobieskiego 9, 02-957 Warszawa
tel. 022-45-82-860