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Malpractice Rx

Malpractice minute

We give you facts of an actual malpractice case. Submit your verdict below and see how your colleagues voted.

Vol. 7, No. 10 / October 2008

Could a child’s suicide have been prevented?

THE PATIENT. A 9-year-old boy was undergoing psychiatric treatment.

CASE FACTS. A psychiatrist prescribed bupropion. The child committed suicide.

THE PARENTS’ CLAIM. The psychiatrist was negligent because he did not diagnose suicidal behavior during the initial visit and prescribed bupropion without proper warnings and follow-up.

THE DOCTOR’S DEFENSE. He did not receive information from the patient’s family that would have indicated suicidal behavior, bupropion was an appropriate treatment and was unrelated to the suicide, the family received proper warnings about the drug, and the suicide was unforeseeable.

Submit your verdict and find out how the court ruled and see how your colleagues voted in August’s Malpractice Minute. Click on “Have more to say about this topic?” to comment.

Cases are selected by Current Psychiatry from Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts, with permission of its editor, Lewis Laska of Nashville, TN ( Information may be incomplete in some instances, but these cases represent clinical situations that typically result in litigation.

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