Do patients avoid psychiatrists for fear of legal holds?

Over on the Shrink Rap blog I got caught up in an off-topic debate. The post was on why psychiatrists avoid insurance panels, something I’ve written about myself. But the commentary wandered into exorbitant fees, inadequate mental health services for the poor, income disparity between psychiatrists and patients, a generation that expects something for nothing, […]

Jury duty, a psychiatric perspective

I just finished a day of jury service in criminal court, and have some thoughts about the whole process. Some relate to me as a psychiatrist, some are more generic. I’ll start by admitting I’ve never served as a juror in an actual trial. Doing so would interest me, and I do appreciate the role […]

Psychiatry and ethics: A whirlwind tour

The following is my article originally published in San Francisco Medicine (Vol. 83 No. 10, December 2010), the monthly journal of the San Francisco Medical Society. This issue was devoted to “Psychiatry for the Nonpsychiatric Physician.” Reprinted by permission.

The practice of psychiatry is rife with ethical issues. Some critics, such as author-psychiatrist Thomas Szasz, […]

Psychiatric holds and refusal of medical treatment

I apologize for the stagnant blog of late. I’ve been working on an idea or two that hasn’t jelled yet. Meanwhile, I ran across a familiar yet troubling occurrence the other day: The use of a psychiatric hold on an inpatient with no psychiatric disorder but who was refusing life-saving medical treatment.

My comments are […]