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"Every year, if not every day, we have to wager our salvation upon some prophecy based upon imperfect knowledge," said Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. It is not only our own salvation, however, but also the salvation of others.
Every day decisions are made by psychiatrists in their role as examiners for and helpers to the courts that will determine if someone accused of a crime stands trial, is hospitalized, is imprisoned, or goes free. These are medical decisions, and although they are not binding upon courts they often do determine the disposition—the "fate"—of the accused. Once these medical decisions were
Medical Limits of Criminality. Ann Intern Med. 1970;73:849–851. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-73-5-849
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1970;73(5):849-851.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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