Psychologists and psychiatrists are professional providers of mental health care. They must perform their duties to their patients within the accepted standard of care. Psychological and psychiatric problems do not carry the stigma they once did but they may still be considered differently from medical issues. It is probably for this reason that medical malpractice resulting from psychological or psychiatric care goes wholly unreported. Think about it for a moment. You might be a particularly fragile person with a psychiatric problem and you go to a psychologist or psychiatrist and put your faith in them to help you deal with your problem. Image that as a result of negligent care you are harmed. Because you have a vested interest with your psychologist or psychiatrist you are reluctant to call an attorney and sue them. Why? Because you know that your entire psychological and psychiatric history will be laid open in a court of law for all to see. This fact alone has a very chilling effect and victims of psychological and psychiatric care often are reluctant to call an attorney for help. There may be ways for a medical malpractice attorney keep the court proceedings private and still address the medical malpractice issues.
When these professionals counsel a mentally ill individual they owe a special responsibility to them to ensure that they are not a danger to themselves or others and prescribe detention and medication as appropriate.
If you have any questions or would like more information about psychologist and psychiatrist negligence, contact George Tait Law online or call us at 800.953.4811.