2008 issue 2


Volume 17, issue 2

Case report

The problems involved in the diagnosing of infanticide - a case report

Dariusz Juszczak1
1. Przychodnia Zdrowia Psychicznego 10 Wojskowego Szpitala Klinicznego z Polikliniką w Bydgoszczy
Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii 2008; 17 (2): 175-177
Keywords: infanticide, criminal code, forensic-psychiatric assessment


Objective. This article discusses the problems involved in the diagnosing of infanticide in forensic-psychiatric assessment.
Case report. The case was a 21-year-old woman suspected of acting with the direct intention of homicide (art. 148 § 1). She given birth to a normally developed daughter, without developmental impairment, weighing 940 grams, capable of surviving in hospital, whom she failed to help, carried to the neighbourhood rubbish dump and abandoned in unfavourable atmospheric conditions on the day of birth. The girl died that same day of lack of nourishment and cold. The court ordered hospital observation during which the diagnostic examinations necessary to formulate the forensic-psychiatric assessment were conducted.
Commentary. On analysis of the case documentation and the hospital observation, the forensic experts came to the conclusion that the patient had an immature personality with hysteroid characteristics and below-average intellectual functioning and that this had seriously limited her sanity.

Address for correspondence:
Dr Dariusz Juszczak
ul. Wysoka 1d/6, 85-323 Bydgoszcz
e-mail: juszczaczek@op.pl