(Received 19 March 1981; accepted 6 May 1981)
Published Online: January
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The many definitions of competency in civil, criminal, and domestic relations law are discussed with emphasis on the various legal criteria for competency and the different classes of psychiatric information required to apply the criteria to a given case. Within the context of a general discussion of forensic examinations, techniques for gathering the right kind of information are systematically related to the exigencies of evaluating past, present, or future mental states by selectively altering the focus of mental status evaluations and history-taking. In addition, special investigative techniques such as hypnosis, Amytal ® sodium interview, stress interview, psychological testing, and others are discussed.
Clinical instructor in psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MA
Stock #: JFS11456J