Psychiatric Testimony: What Are Its Limits?
Goldsmith, Marsha F.
JAMA. 1984 Jul 13; 252(2): 186-187, 191.
The psychiatrist's role as an expert witness was discussed by Arthur F. Sullwood, M.D., and Gerald T. Bennett, J.D., at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS). Their thesis that there are inherent limits to the application of psychiatry to legal questions was addressed by participants in conjunction with a Supreme Court decision permitting such testimony. Sullwood stated that psychiatrists attempting to predict dangerous behavior are disguising lay opinion as psychiatric theory. Dr. Walter Bromberg, president of the AAFS, disagreed, saying that psychiatrists do have a valid role in helping courts reach an assessment of an offender's personality and mental state. (KIE abstract)
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