Education And Debate

The psychiatrist's view Preventing violent crime is not a medical role

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.311.7020.1619 (Published 16 December 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:1619
  1. Gwen Adsheada, lecturer in forensic psychiatry
  1. aDepartment of Forensic Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, London SE5 8EF

    The maintenance of civil order is a political issue, which may not be improved by becoming “medicalised.” Not only does this let central government off the hook it may also marginalise the problem. It is already too easy for the Home Office and the Department of Health to bounce the needs of crime victims between them. Doctors do not necessarily have any training or expertise in social policy matters, and, more importantly, no public mandate to take them over.

    Being involved in crime prevention can backfire on health carers. If health carers have some role in crime prevention, should they …

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