2010 issue 4

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Volume 19, issue 4

Case report

Difficulties in certification of the defendant’s with mental disorders inability to appear in court in response to summons issued by the authority conducting the proceedings – a case report

Sławomir Krzysztof Sidorowicz1, Barbara Świątek2, Tomasz Jurek2
1. Klinika Psychiatryczna, Uniwersytet Medyczny, Wrocław
2. Zakład Medycyny Sądowej, Uniwersytet Medyczny, Wrocław
Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii 2010; 19(4): 315–318
Keywords: defendant with mental disorders, ability to participate in criminal proceedings

Abstract

Objectives. The paper discusses some causes of difficulties in certification of the defendant's inability to participate in court proceedings. Attention was drawn to differences in the roles of the physician in relation to the patient and the forensic medicine expert in relation to the assessed person.
Case report. Two physicians: a psychiatrist and a forensic medicine expert (non-psychiatrist) were accused of issuing illegal certificates of the defendant's inability to appear in court in response to summons and to participate in court proceedings due to mental disorders. Criteria were presented for the assessment of ability to participate in court proceedings.
Commentary. When assessing the defendant's with mental disorders ability to participate in court proceedings the forensic medicine expert should personally conduct a psychiatric evaluation. It is only on the grounds of the latter evaluation that an appropriate certificate can be issued, where the expert should assess the importance of the defendant's abnormalities to his/her ability to participate in the court proceedings.

Address for correspondence:
Dr hab. Sławomir Sidorowicz
Katedra i Klinika Psychiatrii AM im. Piastów Śląskich we Wrocławiu
Wybrzeże L. Pasteura 10, 50-367 Wrocław
e-mail: ssidorowicz@kk.e-wro.pl