July 11, 1980

The Uses of Psychiatry in the Law: A Clinical View of Forensic Psychiatry

Author Affiliations

University of Kansas Medical Center Kansas City, Kansas


by Walter Bromberg, 442 pp, with illus, $25, Westport, Conn, Quorum Books, Greenwood Press, 1979.

JAMA. 1980;244(2):195. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03310020063040

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The authoritative, well-organized, objectively presented material of The Uses of Psychiatry in the Law came out of a series of lectures given to law students by Dr Walter Bromberg. A highly respected teacher and clinician with vast courtroom experience, Bromberg has aptly subtitled his book, "A Clinical View of Forensic Psychiatry." In his preface he modestly claims that his book will be "comprehensive but not exhaustive." I think the author has succeeded in presenting a refreshing and highly enlightening piece of work containing useful and practical information. Without being carried away by philosophical discussions on moral and ethical issues in forensic psychiatry, he successfully manages to cover virtually all of the important areas in law and psychiatry.

The presentation begins with a brief introduction and moves smoothly to the courtroom scene where the psychiatrist-witness is put through the process of qualifying as an expert. Bromberg includes many verbatim excerpts of