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October 22, 1982

Clinical Handbook of Psychiatry and the Law

Author Affiliations

University of Kansas Medical Center Kansas City


by Thomas G. Gutheil and Paul S. Appelbaum, 385 pp, $24.95, New York, McGraw-Hill Book Co Inc, 1982.

JAMA. 1982;248(16):2057. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330160095045

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The authors' title selection is certainly apropos for this masterful work on psychiatry and the law. It is, indeed, a handbook, full of insightful information, discussed in a format uniquely the authors'. The presentation of the material, in my view, is a tribute to their highly imaginative, clinical minds. My only regret is that, unlike most handbooks, it is not small enough to carry in your coat pocket.

The book is one of the most clinically creative works to come out in the field of forensic psychiatry. It has successfully achieved what the authors stated it consistently strives to accomplish, that is, "1) always to interrelate the legal and the clinical aspects of an issue; and 2) to convey, whenever possible, something of the history of the law's approach to a problem, in the recognition that today's rule is, in most cases, merely the most recent unstable equilibrium that the