In the Media

Is a doctor really guilty if his patient commits murder?

PUBLISHED December 20, 2012

In France, a psychiatrist, Dr Danièle Canarelli, has been given a suspended prison sentence for failing to prevent one of her patients, Joël Gaillard, from hacking his grandmother's consort to death. According to the judges, Dr Canarelli disregarded the abundant and obvious evidence that he was dangerous and in need of firm treatment, and they did not accept her excuse for her inactivity - that she wanted to preserve a therapeutic relationship with him. The judges said such a relationship was not "an end in itself, but only a means to obtain the compliance of the patient and to look after him better".