Suicide cases in civil law: do the legal tests make sense?
Bull. Amer. Acad. Psychiatry & the Law
18(4): 365-72, 1990.
The legal 'tests' for suicide liability in negligence and workmen's compensation law have developed
along parallel, but not identical, lines to the tests for criminal responsibility. Current legal precedent
has shifted the focus from cognitive awareness and irresistible impulse theories to the ability of a
negligent act or injury to cause an abnormal mental state. The courts, in their variable interpretation
of these mental state tests, leave no clear guidelines for the psychiatric expert asked to address
suicidal behavior from the standpoint of responsibility. [References: 29]