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  1. #1
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    France - Dr. Daniele Canarelli charged after patient commits murder, Marseille, 2004

    French psychiatrists' unions have reacted angrily after a doctor was found guilty of manslaughter because her patient hacked an elderly man to death.

    In the first case of its kind in France, Daniele Canarelli, 58, a psychiatrist based at the Edouard-Toulouse hospital in Marseille, was sentenced to one year's suspended prison sentence as judges said she had committed the "grave error" of failing to recognise the public danger posed by Joel Gaillard, her patient of four years.

    Gaillard, 43, had escaped from a hospital consultation with Canarelli in February 2004 and 20 days later he used an axe to kill the 80-year-old partner of his grandmother in Gap in the Alps region. Gaillard, who suffered from a kind of paranoid schizophrenia, had been seeing the consultant for four years and had already been forcibly committed to a secure hospital on several occasions for a series of increasingly dangerous incidents.

    The court said Canarelli should have requested Gaillard be placed in a specialised medical unit or referred him to another medical team, as one of her colleagues suggested. Her refusal had equated to a form of "blindness", the court president, Fabrice Castoldi, said.

    Defence lawyers warned that the ruling would have serious repercussions for treatment of the mentally ill. "If a psychiatrist lives in fear of being sentenced, it will have very real consequences and probably lead to harsher treatment of patients," Canarelli's lawyer, Sylvain Pontier told Reuters.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012...ctors-sentence
    The world is full of monsters with friendly faces and angels full of scars. ~ Unknown

    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. ~ Aristotle

    The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.

  2. #2
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    First Italy and the manslaughter verdict against the seismologists in the earthquake lawsuit. Now the French, holding doctors directly responsible for every action of their patients.

    Very clearly, the Renaissance is over.
    Last edited by wfgodot; 12-31-2012 at 02:35 PM. Reason: sp

  3. #3
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    This is scary stuff indeed, and has implications on the Newtown tragedy I think.
    Not to turn this thread in that direction, but I have been wondering how devastating it must feel to have been a mental health professional who had treated AL. To be held criminally liable for his actions would be awful I believe.
    One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by CocoChanel View Post
    This is scary stuff indeed, and has implications on the Newtown tragedy I think.
    Not to turn this thread in that direction, but I have been wondering how devastating it must feel to have been a mental health professional who had treated AL. To be held criminally liable for his actions would be awful I believe.
    It doesn't have any implication on Newtown because the case we are discussing happened in France.
    Just my opinion

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by CocoChanel View Post
    This is scary stuff indeed, and has implications on the Newtown tragedy I think.
    Not to turn this thread in that direction, but I have been wondering how devastating it must feel to have been a mental health professional who had treated AL. To be held criminally liable for his actions would be awful I believe.
    What about it is so scary? The patient had shown increasing violence, had escaped and yet the professional who knew all this failed to enact available measures to protect the public from him. Sounds like the French aren't going to tolerate professional incompetence when it results in a horrific crime. I agree with them.

    JMO

  6. #6
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    People need to be accountable. If they are hired and paid to do a job, and failure to do that job results in a foreseeable disaster, then there should be some form of consequences ... shouldn't there? Isn't that's how it's been in the US for a very long time? Lawsuits seem very common. It seems like the only difference here is that, instead of lawsuits where one private citizen gets rich due to the fault of another, instead of someone opening their wallet to settle the problem, the person at fault is prosecuted. Seems like a better system, in some ways.

    Think about it ... if person A does something incorrect that results in the death of person B, then, should person A be:

    a. prosecuted for negligence and rehabilitated, or
    b. forced to pay person C a bunch of money and continue in the professional where they have failed?

    Which is more likely to protect society in the long run?

    The Italian ship captain that caused fatalities by taking the ship too close to shore is being prosecuted because he screwed up in his job. It seems to me to be the same situation.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by otto View Post
    People need to be accountable. If they are hired and paid to do a job, and failure to do that job results in a foreseeable disaster, then there should be some form of consequences ... shouldn't there? Isn't that's how it's been in the US for a very long time? Lawsuits seem very common. It seems like the only difference here is that, instead of lawsuits where one private citizen gets rich due to the fault of another, instead of someone opening their wallet to settle the problem, the person at fault is prosecuted. Seems like a better system, in some ways.

    Think about it ... if person A does something incorrect that results in the death of person B, then, should person A be:

    a. prosecuted for negligence and rehabilitated, or
    b. forced to pay person C a bunch of money and continue in the professional where they have failed?

    Which is more likely to protect society in the long run?

    Would you feel the same if said person had killed himself instead of someone else?
    The world is full of monsters with friendly faces and angels full of scars. ~ Unknown

    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. ~ Aristotle

    The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.

  8. #8
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    Sounds like this patient escaped from the hospital and she notified police. So I really don't understand why she is found responsible for her patient's behavior.
    Just my opinion

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjenny View Post
    Sounds like this patient escaped from the hospital and she notified police. So I really don't understand why she is found responsible for her patient's behavior.
    It was recommended to her that the patient be kept in a more secure environment. She disagreed. She was wrong. There were serious consequences. She screwed up in the job and there were fatalities ... just like the Italian ship captain.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by otto View Post
    It was recommended to her that the patient be kept in a more secure environment. She disagreed. She was wrong. There were serious consequences. She screwed up in the job and there were fatalities ... just like the Italian ship captain.
    We should try this here in US. Considering our "not guilty by reason of insanity" laws. These not guilty by reason of insanity patients go to the hospital, and eventually psychiatrists could declare them cured and let them out. Well, if they are wrong, and the patient does something again, I am all for off to prison with the shrink!
    Just my opinion


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by SurfieTX View Post
    Would you feel the same if said person had killed himself instead of someone else?
    She failed in her job and there were consequences to society. I'm not sure how French law works, but if the choice is to either:

    a. have the family sue the psychiatrist for failing in her professional duties and it's settled with a bucket of money, or
    b. the psychiatrist is prosecuted and rehabilitated to prevent further similar professional failures, then

    I in favor of the latter. Giving the family a bucket of money does nothing to protect society.

  12. #12
    Unfortunately we do not yet have the science to predict human behavior based on behavioral output. It's not an exact science that enables doctors to make perfect calls every time.

    Without omniscience, you can not expect omniscient results.

    What they effectively did is reduce the number of people willing to go into this field of helping others by at least half. He/she did not fail at their job, because NOBODY is able to make perfect calls every time. Because they are human doctors, not gods.

  13. #13
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    Psychiatry isn't like taking your car to the shop. It isn't a clean mechanical process.

    This situation is tragic - but for goodness' sake, I think sinking to this level litigiousness is not the way to address it.

    Let's attempt to put this in perspective -- thousands of murderers, rapists, child killers and pedos are released from prison every year, to clutter up this forum with repeats of the same horrendous crimes that put them in prison in the first place.

    Think about the agonies suffered by their thousands of victims, all those kids, partners lost, lives and bodies and minds shattered, all the pain they cause because some folks decide for whatever unfathomable reason to let them ---out--- of prison to walk among innocents.

    How about making a comparison between that endemic, monumentally stupid and damaging state of affairs, and this ONE possible error made by ONE doctor who's dedicated their life to improving the human condition?

    And you know, just get real.

  14. #14
    It's a sad, sad world when we start punishing the evil of the world on those trying to stop it. If a police officer fails to stop a murderer, do they get time now too? How about a fireman who can't rescue a child from an arson fire and fails at their job of firefighter?

    Do these evil things happen because there are evil people, or because the people trying to help mankind by stopping it aren't perfect enough at their job?

    Unless there was proof gross negligence, which there may be, I don't think we should hold those trying to be a part of the solution accountable for the the evil of others. That's just going to result in people not trying to help.

  15. #15
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    The logical next step is that whenever a criminal is released on parole and reoffends, the people responsible for the decision to release him need to do his time for him.

    I don't like this one bit.

    It may make mental health professionals more insecure and paranoid and lead to decision making that is intended to shield the psychiatrist from prosecution which is not always in line with what's best for the patient. It may be human rights violation if patients are committed against their will in hypersecure institutions just because the psychiatrist is not sure what they might do.

    Newsflash: no one can be sure what another human being might do.

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