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December 7, 1970

Psychiatry and the Criminal: A Guide to Psychiatric Examinations for the Criminal Courts

Author Affiliations

University of California Berkeley

JAMA. 1970;214(10):1892. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03180100082035

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


Dr. Macdonald has written a useful "how to do it" book for the psychiatrist who may be called upon to examine a defendant charged with the commission of a crime.

However, the book is written in a rather simple, homely fashion that sometimes gets naively out of hand. Sometimes important and controversial current issues in psychiatry and the criminal law are dismissed with a casual, superficial mention. Reports of dubious treatments, such as the use of estrogens in the treatment of sex offenders, are included without suitable criticism or evaluation, and may be very misleading to the inexperienced reader.

Nevertheless, Psychiatry and the Criminal is a useful book, especially for the medical student, psychiatric resident, or medical practitioner who is occasionally called upon to examine a criminal defendant. It provides a safe and sound, general view of the practical issues that concern evaluation of the mental condition of the criminal