In the year 2019 the Health Inspectorate received an application by a person that underwent an inpatient forensic psychiatric evaluation, to evaluate the quality of healthcare he received. In the process of evaluation of this complaint it became apparent that neither Latvian regulatory framework, nor the medical technology “Forensic psychatric examination” or clinical practice, has formulated any regulation for the healthcare process of persons undergoing forensic psychiatric examination, and did not define the criteria for quality and quantity of allowable psychiatric treatment.
Furthermore, significant legal differences between the healthcare process and forensic psychiatric evaluation process were found, that can impair the ability of a psychiatrist to simultaneously act as a treating physician, and a forensic expert. For example, forensic psychiatric examination is a court ordered procedural operation, performed by the forensic psychiatric expert, whereas psychiatric care is a treatment and diagnostic activity, performed by a physician. Moreover, the suspect in criminal proceedings, has an obLīgation to allow for oneself to be subjected to a study of an expert, whereas a patient has an obLīgation to be actively involved in medical treatment and to provide the attending physician with information within the limits of his or her abilities and knowledge. Furthermore the duty of a forensic expert is to provide the information acquired during an expert-examination only to the person directing the proceedings, whereas a patient has the right to receive information regarding ones state of health from the attending physician.
As a result of the evaluation the Health Inspectorate has recommended to initiate a discussion to amend the normative regulations, in order to strictly separate the forensic psychiatric examination from psychiatric treatment. This measure has a potential to improve the quality of both psychiatric care, and forensic examination, and ensure better oversight by the supervisory authorities.
- 3.4. Other publications in conference proceedings (including local)