Year: 1993 Source: Hospital and Community Psychiatry, v.44, no.4, (April 1993), p.361-364 SIEC No: 19930976

The issue of therapists’ liability for patients who commit suicide may depend on whether courts view the suicidal patient as competent to decide to follow or not follow an agreed upon treatment plan. In this article, the author offers practical suggestions, including sets of specific questions, for assessing & documenting a psychiatric patient’s competency to agree to a treatment plan. Such assessments can help reduce the risk of malpractice liability resulting from patient suicide.