Year: 2005 Source: Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and Law, v.33, (2005), p.176-182 SIEC No: 20060155

Suicide continues to be recognized as a crime in a few American states. In those jurisdictions, the beneficiary of a claim must prove that the individual who attempted or died by suicide was of unsound mind. In insurance cases, expert testimony is required regarding the mental state of the individual. Psychiatric testimony varies widely, depending on the legal definition of unsound mind. When experts attempt to testify about sound or unsound mind, they must be aware of the imperfect fit between psychiatry & the law. (36 refs)