December 19, 2012

"France psychiatrist guilty over murder by patient."

BBC reports:
Daniele Canarelli was given a suspended prison sentence of one year, in the first case of its kind in France.....

While accepting that there was no such thing as "zero risk" in such cases and that doctors could not predict the actions of their patients, the court found that Canarelli had made several mistakes in [Joel] Gaillard's treatment....

The court's Fabrice Castoldi said Canarelli should either have placed him in a specialised unit for difficult patients or referred him to another team.

Gaillard killed 80-year-old Germain Trabuc with an axe in March 2004 in the town of Gap.

He had been judged not responsible for his actions due to his suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and was freed under medical supervision.
I can't understand the logic of saying that the doctor should "have placed him in a specialised unit for difficult patients" when the court let him free. Maybe I'm missing some subtlety about the similarity between this "unit" and "medical supervision." Are we talking about confining the man or not?

Using criminal law against the doctor is extremely hard to comprehend. (In the U.S., I think the issues have only been about civil cases in which private citizens seek damages.) But if we did want to try to institutionalize more of our mentally ill citizens — the ones who seem to threaten violence — we could exploit the doctors by scaring them with criminal liability. 

44 comments:

Simon Kenton said...

We could so exploit our doctors, and trigger a mass exodus from psychiatry and perhaps psychology. On balance, it's hard to see whether this is a good or bad thing, but then I went through the custody wars a couple decades ago, and it is hard to come through with an abiding respect for the mental health profession, given that.

whoresoftheinternet said...

Duh. If he were a republican, he'd get the death penalty.

kcom said...

Robert Bork has died.

Maguro said...

The real issue is France's axe culture.

carrie said...

The thought police are coming.

carrie said...

The thought police are coming.

MadisonMan said...

Well, it's not the schizoid's fault. It has to be someone's fault. There can't not be blame.

(looks around).

Ah. The Doctor who was treating him. Why didn't he do something!!!!!!

creeley23 said...

It seems like the whole legal/medical/political/professional world has become a giant game of Hot Potato as one party seeks to shift blame or debt to another party as swiftly as possible.

mainandbroad.com said...

It seems that leftists sometimes just do as they wish, without regard to established law.

MadisonMan said...

From the article:

The court's Fabrice Castoldi said Canarelli should either have placed him in a specialised unit for difficult patients or referred him to another team.

Won't this ruling just lead to Psychiatrists playing CYA by shuffling patients amongst their colleagues? Refer to another team and your butt is covered.

echo said...

This reminds me of the Italian scientists who were convicted for not predicting an earthquake.

Europe, lovely place.

traditionalguy said...

This is a good opportunity for lawyers too.

The Due Process clause in 14 means the "patient" cannot be deprived of liberty without a legal process which means an opportunity for a hearing with an appointed attorney.

The involuntary hospitalization can be done on MD's affidavits, but a hearing has to be held in a reasonable time thereafter.

Out of control teenagers are sometimes fingered by their parents who really just are rebellious druggies, but are not mentally ill cases.

The standard of dangerous to themselves or others can be as broad as a panel hearing the case wants to make it. The patient's appearance and testimony is what steers the outcome.

An old court house used to have a pad pf forms in old drawers not opened since 1900 printed out titled Lunacy Warrants ordering the sheriff to arrest a named patient.

Schizophrenia is not new. Our reliance on Thorazine instead of hospitals is new.

Mitchell the Bat said...

Just before he let him have it, I hope Gaillard did his best Arnold Schwarzenegger and said, "Let me axe you a question."

Peter said...

Ann Althouse said, "Using criminal law against the doctor is extremely hard to comprehend."

Perhaps that's because you're thinking of law as it exists in the United States, and not law as it exists in France?

In any case, I've yet to see any convincing evidence that psychiatrists are any better at predicting violent behavior than anyone else. Therefore, the systemic fix is for courts to ignore psychiatric predictions about a person's potential for violence.

EDH said...

I can't understand the logic of saying that the doctor should "have placed him in a specialised unit for difficult patients" when the court let him free.

Do you expect increased "gun control" here will make any more sense?

gerry said...

What is the French axe community going to do about this?

mainandbroad.com said...

There's been a tremendous amount of bad reporting in the wake of Newtown and I may have missed a correction but it's my understanding that the Bushmaster was found in the trunk of the car. Did Lanza use the Bushmaster in the school or not?

gerry said...

By the by, a hat tip to Maguro for a chuckle...

Hagar said...

The southern European systems of "justice" are alien to the English-speaking peoples.

gadfly said...

When does the trial begin for Adam Lanza's psychiatrist??

Pogo said...

In the US a similar thing happens when patients abuse narcotics. The doctor prescribing them is at fault, and can lose their license or even go to jail.

As a result, MDs are very reluctant to prescribe narcotics, even for cancer.

As Mad Man notes, it's always someone else's fault.

EMD said...

You can always count on France to make the United States look good.

EMD said...

it's always someone else's fault.

There's handy acronym for this: IASEF!

EMD said...

What is the French axe community going to do about this?

I blame Tobe Hooper. Wait ... that was a chainsaw. Nevermind.

traditionalguy said...

The big difference is that France uses 3 judge panels and NO JURIES.

The Judges are political as they can be and bow to pressures that a sworn jury of 12 citizens would never consider just.

We Scots-Irish are difficult folks, but we are still free citizens and not subjects of Judges appointed by divine right kings or other unelected authorities.

Juries Are Us!

Obama/Pelosi's assault on us is the monopoly of health care being constructed around us. Do you remember trying to argue with Ma Bell, and she was regulated by elected Public Utility Commissions.

gadfly said...

@Maguro said...
The real issue is France's axe culture.

According to the axeculture website, "the objective of Axis Culture is public debate" - whatever that means.

"Lizzie Borden took an axe . . ."

edutcher said...

If you start holding judges accountable for all their dumb decisions, we'd be back where we were 150 years ago.

Hmmmm....

kcom said...

Robert Bork has died.

A great man.

Who showed us Teddy Kennedy at his finest.

Marshal said...

kcom said...
Robert Bork has died.


I wonder if Yglesias will reveal how classy he is again.

Bob Boyd said...

I can see that happening. In fact, its just common sense.
Reporting a gun in the home must be part of any health insurance questionnaire.
Any doctor with common sense will protect himself from liability for such a person by referring him or her for further tests. Defensive medicine.

Mitchell the Bat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EMD said...

I can see that happening. In fact, its just common sense.
Reporting a gun in the home must be part of any health insurance questionnaire.
Any doctor with common sense will protect himself from liability for such a person by referring him or her for further tests. Defensive medicine.


Rhetorical devices!

Michael K said...

" EMD said...
I can see that happening. In fact, its just common sense.
Reporting a gun in the home must be part of any health insurance questionnaire.
Any doctor with common sense will protect himself from liability for such a person by referring him or her for further tests. Defensive medicine.

Rhetorical devices!"

Medical students and pediatric resident are being taught that this is part of the medical history.

Not by me but it is happening.

leslyn said...

France? WTF? France??

EMD said...

Medical students and pediatric resident are being taught that this is part of the medical history.

Not by me but it is happening.


I was just riffing on your use of "common sense"

Freeman Hunt said...

Psychology and psychic, they both have "psych." Maybe that confused the bureaucrats.

Wally Kalbacken said...

There has never been a better time to get out of the business.

Alex said...

Shiloh, garage - cat got your toungue?

EDH said...

"He had been judged not responsible for his actions due to his suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and was freed under medical supervision."

After ten long years they let him out of the home
Excitable boy, they all said
And he dug up her grave and built a cage with her bones
Excitable boy, they all said
Well, he's just an excitable boy


Excitable Boy

Well, he went down to dinner in his Sunday best
Excitable boy, they all said
And he rubbed the pot roast all over his chest
Excitable boy, they all said
He took in the four a.m. show at the Clark
Excitable boy, they all said
And he bit the usherette's leg in the dark
Excitable boy, they all said
Well, he's just an excitable boy
He took little Suzie to the Junior Prom
Excitable boy, they all said
And he raped her and killed her, then he took her home
Excitable boy, they all said
Well, he's just an excitable boy

barribarri said...

IMPRISONING A HUMAN BEING WHO HAS COMMITTED NO CRIME IS WRONG!

The fact that this has to be explained to you, over and over and in different ways, suggests that you, ANN ALTHOUSE are incapable of differentiating between RIGHT and WRONG.

As you well know, this is one legal definition of INSANITY.

You should be careful what you wish for.

Ann Althouse said...

Institutionalizing a person who is a danger to himself and others is a longstanding practice. The issue is how to identify who deserves this treatment and how to treat them once you've taken away their freedom.

The idea that it's compassionate to leave these people to their own devices needs to be reexamined. There is a lot of suffering out on the street, and the solution of waiting until you can convict them of crimes and sticking them in prisons is hardly a way to reduce suffering.

Alex said...

Ann - what we need are precognitives on the job. Ever watch "Minority Report"?

Coketown said...

Remember when that team of Italian seismologists were convicted of manslaughter for failing to predict an earthquake?

It's hilarious that leslyn is shocked. "France? WTF? France??" Because France is...France! European! Enlightened! Bright! So non-American. Only in America would scientists be jailed for practicing science! This happens in Europe?? Are you all sure? Did you accidentally type "France" when you meant "Oklahoma"? This can't happen in Europe!

Right? WTF? Right??

Joanne said...

Bingo! And police departments that don't put the crazy's name on the "no buy guns" list (Arizona).

It would seem the only people who don't know these people are dangerously crazy and need to be locked up are their doctors and judges.

If a case can be made that the doctor and the judge were culpable for the mass murder, I say we make it.

barribarri said...

If the law already has such provisions; then what are you advocating?

Who does deserve to be institutionalized?

Those who are "a danger to themselves of others" are ALREADY institiutionalized until they are no longer a danger.

So, who else?

How will YOU determine it?

For how long?

Why won't you just say what you're proposing?

You say that imprisoning people AFTER they commit a crime lacks compassion; and your compassionate solution is to imprison them BEFORE they commit a crime.




Lame circular reasoning and appeals to tradition are only diversions from the fact that you advocate the permanent imprisonment of everyone with a mental illness.

SAY IT.