Skip to main content
×
×
Home

The role of the doctor when a patient commits suicide

  • Colin Campbell (a1) and Tom Fahy (a2)
Extract

The literature concerning psychiatrists' responses to patient suicide is sparse (Brown, 1987; Chemtob et al, 1988; Alexander et al, 2000) but even less attention has been given to the psychiatrist's role in the aftermath of such an event. Psychiatrists infrequently discuss their own experience of patient suicide with their colleagues, either at an individual level (Kaye & Soreff, 1991) or in group settings such as team meetings (Ruben, 1990). This is all the more remarkable when one acknowledges that the suicide of a patient is arguably the event that causes most concern for clinicians, irrespective of their experience or seniority (Kaye & Soreff, 1991).

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      The role of the doctor when a patient commits suicide
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      The role of the doctor when a patient commits suicide
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      The role of the doctor when a patient commits suicide
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
Hide All
Alexander, D. A., Klein, S., Gray, N. M., et al (2000) Suicide by patients: questionnaire study of its effect on consultant psychiatrists. BMJ, 320, 15711574.
Barraclough, B. M. & Shepherd, D. M. (1976) Public interest: private grief. British Journal of Psychiatry, 129, 109113.
Barraclough, B. M. & Shepherd, D. M. (1977) The immediate and enduring effects of the inquest on relatives of suicides. British Journal of Psychiatry, 131, 400404.
Binder, R. (1978) Dealing with patients' suicides. American Journal of Psychiatry, 135(9), 113.
Boyd, W. D. (1993) Confidential enquiry into homicides and suicides by mentally ill people. Psychiatric Bulletin, 17, 165.
Boyd, W. D. (1994) The Confidential Enquiry. In The Prevention of Suicide (eds Jenkins, R., Griffiths, S., Wylie, I., et al), pp. 104142. London: Department of Health, HMSO.
Brown, H. N. (1987) The impact of suicide on therapists in training. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 28(2), 101112.
Chambers, D. R. (1989) (editorial) The coroner, the inquest and the verdict of suicide. Medicine, Science and the Law, 29(3), 181.
Chemtob, C. M., Hamada, R. S., Bauer, G., et al (1988) Patients' suicides: frequency and impact on psychiatrists. American Journal of Psychiatry, 145(2), 224228.
Colt, G. H. (1987) The history of the suicide survivor – the mark of Cain. In Suicide and its Aftermath: Understanding and Counselling the Survivors (eds Dunne, E. J., Mcintosh, J. L. & Dunne-Maxim, K.), pp. 318. NewYork: W.W. Norton and Company.
Courtenay, K. P. & Stephens, J. P. (2001) The experience of patient suicide among trainees in psychiatry. Psychiatric Bulletin, 25, 5152.
Dewar, I. G., Eagles, J. M., Klein, S., et al (2000) Psychiatric trainees' experience of, and reactions to, patient suicide. Psychiatric Bulletin, 24, 2023.
Dolman, W. F. G. (1994) The coroner's response. In The Prevention of Suicide (eds Jenkins, R., Griffiths, S., Wylie, I., et al), pp. 135139. London: Department of Health, HMSO.
Dunne, E. J. (1987) A response to suicide in the mental health setting. In Suicide and its Aftermath: Understanding and Counselling the Survivors (eds Dunne, E. J., Mcintosh, J. L. & Dunne-Maxim, K.), pp. 182190. NewYork: W.W. Norton and Company.
Dunne-Maxim, K. E. (1987) Survivors and the media. In Suicide and its Aftermath: Understanding and Counselling the Survivors (eds Dunne, E. J., Mcintosh, J. L. & Dunne-Maxim, K.), pp. 4546. NewYork: W.W. Norton and Company.
Hauser, M. J. (1987) Special aspects of grief after a suicide. In Suicide and its Aftermath: Understanding and Counselling the Survivors (eds Dunne, E. J., Mcintosh, J. L. & Dunne-Maxim, K.), pp. 5770. NewYork: W.W. Norton and Company.
Hawton, K. (1986) Aftermath of child and adolescent suicide. In Suicide and Attempted Suicide Among Children and Adolescents, pp. 4954. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.
Henn, R. F. (1978) Patient suicide as part of psychiatric residency. American Journal of Psychiatry, 156(6), 745746.
Hodelet, N. & Hughson, M. (2001) What to do when a patient commits suicide. Psychiatric Bulletin, 25, 4345.
Jones, F. A. (1987) Therapists as survivors of client suicide. In Suicide and its Aftermath: Understanding and Counselling the Survivors (eds Dunne, E. J., Mcintosh, J. L. & Dunne-Maxim, K.), pp. 126141. NewYork: W.W. Norton and Company.
Kaye, N. S. & Soreff, S. M. (1991) The psychiatrist's role, responses and responsibilities when a patient commits suicide. American Journal of Psychiatry, 148(6), 739743.
Kozlowska, K., Nunn, K. & Cousens, P. (1997) Adverse experiences in psychiatric training: Part 2. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 31, 641652.
Lelliot, P. (1994) Local audit. In The Prevention of Suicide (eds Jenkins, J., Griffiths, S., Wylie, I., et al), pp. 143147. London: Department of Health, HMSO.
Litman, R. E. (1965) When patients commit suicide. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 19, 570576.
Mcintosh, J. L. (1987) Survivor family relationships: literature review. In Suicide and its Aftermath: Understanding and Counselling the Survivors (eds Dunne, E. J., Mcintosh, J. L. & Dunne-Maxim, K.), pp. 7384. NewYork: W.W. Norton and Company.
Morgan, H. G. (1993) Suicide prevention and ‘The Health of the Nation’. Psychiatric Bulletin, 17, 135136.
Morgan, G. (1994) The relatives response. In The Prevention of Suicide (eds Jenkins, R., Griffiths, S., Wylie, I., et al), pp. 123124. London: Department of Health, HMSO.
Ness, D. E. & Pfeffer, C. R. (1990) Sequelae of bereavement resulting from suicide. American Journal of Psychiatry, 147(3), 279285.
Retterstol, N. (1993) Special problems facing the bereaved after suicide. In Suicide: A European Perspective, pp. 176177. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Ruben, H. L. (1990) Surviving a suicide in your practice. In Suicide Over the Life Cycle: Risk Factors, Assessment and Treatment of Suicidal Patients (eds Blumenthal, S. J. & Kupfer, D. J.), pp. 619636. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press.
Rudestam, K. E. (1987) Public perceptions of suicide survivors. In Suicide and its Aftermath: Understanding and Counselling the Survivors (eds Dunne, E. J., Mcintosh, J. L. & Dunne-Maxim, K.), pp. 3144. NewYork: W.W. Norton and Company.
Scott, D. (1989) Coping with Suicide. London: Sheldon Press.
Wertheimer, A. (1991) A Special Scar: the Experiences of People Bereaved by Suicide. London: Tavistock/Routledge.
Wu, A. W. (2000) Medical error: The second victim. The doctor who makes the mistake needs help too. BMJ, 320, 726727.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 1
Total number of PDF views: 29 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 120 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 2nd January 2018 - 16th July 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

The role of the doctor when a patient commits suicide

  • Colin Campbell (a1) and Tom Fahy (a2)
Submit a response

eLetters

No eLetters have been published for this article.

×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *