Dangerous delusions? Misidentification syndromes and professional negligence.
S. H. Dinwiddie and S. Yutzy,
Bull. Amer. Acad. Psychiatry & the Law
21(4): 513-21, 1993.
A number of case histories have reported an association between the presence of misidentification
syndromes and violent behavior. If patients with such delusions are truly more likely to perpetrate
violent acts, treating mental health professionals could potentially be considered liable for not
warning or protecting potential victims. However, the purported association between violence and
misidentification can be adequately explained by biased case ascertainment and reporting. The
current literature on misidentification syndromes is used as a means of demonstrating possible
sources of error and bias that must be considered whenever mental health professionals are asked
to reach conclusions about the relationship of rare events. [References: 54]