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September 23, 2014, 3:25 pm
Greg Bishop Contact Greg Bishop


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Morning-drive news anchor and reporter, Greg Bishop also hosts Bishop On Air, Weekdays from 10 to noon, CST.


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Where does responsibility lay?

Email "at" signI received an email with a link to a story out of France where psychiatrist is sentenced after their client committed a murder.  The email sent this message:

This is an important case. Even though it is in France you might well see this type of decision happening in the courts in this country. The young man in Newtown, CT was seeing a psychiatrist. There had to be signs that his behavior indicated that he was dangerous to himself as well as others.

My response:

The Aurora shooting also had a psychiatrist seeming to fail at her job. Negligence? Not sure.

Along the same lines, and I'm sorry I don't have the link on me right now, but some seismologists in Spain, I think, were found guilty for not predicting an earthquake that killed dozens.

It's not like the seismologists purposefully neglected to predict an earthquake or placed charges in the fault lines to cause the quake ... They were sentenced just the same.

I'm not sure I'm down with these people in certain professions being held to that level of account. If the psychiatrist is found to have prescribed something or done some kind of treatment with the intent of it leading to the patient causing harm to others and/or themselves then they should be held accountable.

There are also already laws in some states that hold mental health professionals responsible if they are aware of a direct threat and don't notify authorities.

Outside of that, Finding a psychologist or a psychiatrist, as much as I abhor the flippant prescription of psychotropics, criminally responsible for the actions of their patients is just like attacking the Second Amendment after a mass shooting.

The emailer's response:

I like the way you thought this through. Perhaps it goes without saying that blaming a psychiatrists for the incident is like blaming guns, neither the gun or the psychiatrist committed the act, a deranged individual did. I think the issues that needs discussing is that folks needs to recognize their level of responsibility to society given their training, experience and education. It seems that our culture has evolved to one where personal responsibility is lacking and we are quick to blame someone else or society for our failures.

There have been a number of cases where engineers and/ or architects have been held accountable for buildings, bridges, etc falling down and causing death or injury. It is not uncommon for people in professional practice to carry insurance (errors and omissions) to protect them it the likely hood that their work is drawn into question.

Based on the current feeling in the country about Newtown there is bound to be over reaction. I read this AM that Joe Biden has been appointed to head the WH gun policy push. "Say it ain't so Joe"

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