Issues in forensic psychiatry in Islamic jurisprudence.
K. S. Chaleby,
Bull. Amer. Acad. Psychiatry & the Law
24(1): 117-24, 1996.
There are few other specialties in psychiatry where the cultural nature and social norms of a society
has more impact than the specialty of forensic psychiatry. In the Muslim and Arab worlds, Islamic
principles govern the foundation of thoughts required to make laws. Those necessarily include legal
issues in psychiatry. The impact of these matters on individuals as patients and the community at
large can not be overestimated. Those issues will include laws of involuntary hospitalization and
evaluation of mental competence toward different life functions such as commercial interaction,
writing a will, marriage, divorce, and child custody. Islamic law has a definite position on criminal
responsibility as well as other vital matters such as compensation of damages, including medical
malpractice. This article discusses problems and peculiarities involved in the canonization of these
laws in islamic communities, considering different arguments presented from one point of view
versus another. [References: 21]