Letters

Inquiry into homicides by psychiatric patients

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.314.7077.375 (Published 01 February 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:375

Why inquiries are necessary

  1. Elaine Murphy, Chairmana
  1. a Chairman's Office, St Leonard's, London N1 5LZ
  2. b School of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences, Withington Hospital, Manchester M20 8LR

    Editor–There was much good sense in Nigel Eastman's article criticising the current guidance on mandatory inquiries after homicides by psychiatric patients.1 Systematic internal audit should surely follow all serious untoward incidents whether or not an independent inquiry is to be held.

    Independent inquiries are established primarily, however, at the request of bereaved relatives or because of grave public or media concern. They also provide explanations for the mentally ill person's family, who may feel guilty as well as let down by health or social services for a failure, as they see it, to provide sufficient …

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