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Doctors are failing to identify patients most at risk of killing, report says

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39056.372928.DB (Published 07 December 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:1188
  1. Andrew Cole
  1. 1London

    Clinicians are too often failing to identify the mentally ill patients most at risk of killing either themselves or someone else, a national inquiry into suicide and homicide has concluded.

    The report looked at suicides in England and Wales between 2000 and 2004 and homicides between 1999 and 2003. It found that mental health patients were responsible for 9% of homicides and made up 27% of all suicides.

    Half of the mental health patients who committed suicide and nearly a third of such patients who killed someone else had been in touch with mental health services within the previous week; yet 86% of …

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