Risk Management with Suicidal Patients

Overview

How does the law define "reasonable care" in the treatment of suicidal patients? What are the most clinically and legally appropriate procedures for evaluating and managing suicide risks? And what forms of precautionary planning and documentation are recommended for minimizing the likelihood of malpractice actions? Drawing upon years of clinical experience as well as extensive malpractice claims data and relevant case law, this book outlines effective assessment, management, and treatment procedures that balance ...
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Overview

How does the law define "reasonable care" in the treatment of suicidal patients? What are the most clinically and legally appropriate procedures for evaluating and managing suicide risks? And what forms of precautionary planning and documentation are recommended for minimizing the likelihood of malpractice actions? Drawing upon years of clinical experience as well as extensive malpractice claims data and relevant case law, this book outlines effective assessment, management, and treatment procedures that balance the need for high-quality care with the requirements of court-determined and statutory standards. Three widely cited papers on standards of care are accompanied by four new chapters on clinical and legal risk management and issues surrounding pharmacotherapy.

The book contains black-and-white illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"One-third of the psychologists and half the psychiatrists in this country will find themselves snared in malpractice actions in the course of their careers. These imbroglios usually drag on several years; practitioners pay a heavy price and at best can expect a searing emotional experience before such a case is concluded. If you want to keep out of painful lawsuits, study this book. Its contributors are a 'who's who' in suicide studies, and it reads as though it was written on the courthouse steps. Knowing what is in this book is the practitioner's best prophylaxis for safe practice." --John T. Maltsberger, MD, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
David C. Clark
This edited book integrates ideas about how to balance high-quality clinical care with existing standards of care and U.S. legal standards from the perspective of the mental health professional. The foundations of this book are clinical research findings about suicide risk and existing standards of care. The contributors elaborate on outpatient and inpatient clinical responsibilities, decisions to hospitalize, pharmacotherapy, components of sound clinical judgment, and "wisdom collected from suicide-related malpractice suits." This is a one-of-a-kind resource in light of its clinical sensibility and scholarly authority. Clinical psychologists and clinical psychiatrists will find the book well written and extraordinarily useful, but all mental health professionals will find information and advice specific to their needs. This is likely to become a classical reference for law and mental health programs, and graduate students will benefit as well. The editors are among the most knowledgeable authorities in the country. The complexity of the clinical-legal interface does not lend itself well to schematic illustrations. The reference documentation is thorough and up-to date. There is no index, but an index would be helpful in a subsequent edition. Overall this is an attractive book, well organized and beautifully typeset. "Suicide studies" is a young field which is rapidly coming into its own, as field-specific methods are developed and empirical rigor begins to set the predominant tone. This valuable book offers the best of clinical salience, scientific thoroughness, and legal scholarship as applied to the most difficult and complex of mental health topics — managing suicidalpatients. All mental health professionals will want their own copy to mark up and re-read.
Booknews
Six psychologists from coast-to-coast advise on patient standards of care, psychopharmacotherapy (clinical, forensic aspects), and legal issues in treating suicidal patients<-->concluding with a risk management checklist to minimize clinician liability as malpractice lawsuits become increasingly common. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: David C. Clark, PhD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This edited book integrates ideas about how to balance high-quality clinical care with existing standards of care and U.S. legal standards from the perspective of the mental health professional.
Purpose: The foundations of this book are clinical research findings about suicide risk and existing standards of care. The contributors elaborate on outpatient and inpatient clinical responsibilities, decisions to hospitalize, pharmacotherapy, components of sound clinical judgment, and "wisdom collected from suicide-related malpractice suits." This is a one-of-a-kind resource in light of its clinical sensibility and scholarly authority.
Audience: Clinical psychologists and clinical psychiatrists will find the book well written and extraordinarily useful, but all mental health professionals will find information and advice specific to their needs. This is likely to become a classical reference for law and mental health programs, and graduate students will benefit as well. The editors are among the most knowledgeable authorities in the country.
Features: The complexity of the clinical-legal interface does not lend itself well to schematic illustrations. The reference documentation is thorough and up-to date. There is no index, but an index would be helpful in a subsequent edition. Overall this is an attractive book, well organized and beautifully typeset.
Assessment: "Suicide studies" is a young field which is rapidly coming into its own, as field-specific methods are developed and empirical rigor begins to set the predominant tone. This valuable book offers the best of clinical salience, scientific thoroughness, and legal scholarship as applied to the most difficult and complex of mental health topics — managing suicidal patients. All mental health professionals will want their own copy to mark up and re-read.

5 Stars! from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781572304987
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/16/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Meet the Author


Bruce Bongar, PhD, is Professor in the Clinical Psychology Program at the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology (PGSP), in Palo Alto, California, Consulting Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine, and Director of the joint doctoral program in Psychology and the Law offered by PGSP and Golden Gate University School of Law.

Alan L. (Lanny) Berman, PhD, is Executive Director of the American Association of Suicidology. He has published widely on the subject of suicide and frequently provides expert testimony in legal cases involving malpractice and wrongful death. He served as the suicide expert to the Office of Independent Counsel to investigate and finalize their report on the 1993 death of White House Counsel Vincent W. Foster, Jr.

Ronald W. Maris, PhD, is Professor and Director of the Center for the Study of Suicide at the University of South Carolina. Past President of the American Association of Suicidology and former Editor-in-Chief of Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, that association's official journal, he has published numerous books on the subject of suicide. He is a fellow in the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, a board-certified Forensic Examiner, and maintains a private practice in forensic consultation.

Morton M. Silverman, MD, is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Director, Student Counseling and Resource Service at the University of Chicago. He is Editor-in-Chief of Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior and coeditor of the book Review of Suicidology, 1997.

Eric A. Harris, EdD, JD, is a consultant to the American Psychological Association Insurance Trust and a faculty member of the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology. He has consulted and lectured extensively on both risk management and managed care.

Wendy L. Packman, JD, PhD, is a Fellow in Pediatric Psychology at the University of California, San Francisco. She has written judicial opinions on psychological disability in social security cases, and her published articles include a review of malpractice arising from negligent psychotherapy. She is also active in the development of the joint doctoral program in Psychology and the Law offered by PGSP and Golden Gate University School of Law.

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Table of Contents


Contents
Introduction, Bruce Bongar
1. Outpatient Standards of Care and the Suicidal Patient, Bruce Bongar, Ronald W. Maris, Alan L. Berman, and Robert E. Litman
2. Outpatient Management of Suicidal Patients, Andrew Edmund Slaby
3. Inpatient Standards of Care and the Suicidal Patient: Part I. General Clinical Formulations and Legal Considerations, Bruce Bongar, Ronald W. Maris, Alan L. Berman, Robert E. Litman, and Morton M. Silverman
4. Inpatient Standards of Care and the Suicidal Patient: Part II. An Integration with Clinical Risk Management, Morton M. Silverman, Alan L. Berman, Bruce Bongar. Robert E. Litman, and Ronald W. Maris
5. Psychopharmacological Treatment of Suicidal Inpatients, Mark J. Goldblatt, Morton M. Silverman, and Alan F. Schatzberg
6. Clinical Psychopharmacotherapy with Hospitalized Patients: A Forensic Perspective, Morton M. Silverman
7. Legal Issues and Risk Management in Suicidal Patients, Wendy L. Packman and Eric A. Harris
Postscript: Commentary on Chapters 1, 3, and 4, Robert E. Litman
Postscript: Reply to Litman, Morton M. Silverman
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