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Books, Journals, New Media
June 18, 2003

Infanticide

Author Affiliations
 

Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; David H. Morse, MS, University of Southern California, Norris Medical Library, Journal Review Editor.

JAMA. 2003;289(23):3178-3179. doi:10.1001/jama.289.23.3178

When a mother kills her baby, we are both fascinated and repelled, as reflected in the media frenzy that typically ensues. Infanticide provides an opportunity to open our hearts and minds and a challenge to balance advocacy and science.

The excellent chapter on criminal defense should be required reading for every psychiatry resident. The topic forces us to integrate knowledge from different fields of inquiry, as the chapter covers forensics, reproductive issues, diagnostic classification, and unsolved problems. The author writes, "Flying in the face of ‘mother love,' infanticide both shocks common notions of decency and calls out for punishment at law."

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