:: Volume 14, Issue 4 (2009) ::
Iran J Forensic Med 2009, 14(4): 251-257 Back to browse issues page
Postpartum psychosis & infanticide case study
Abstract:   (18402 Views)
Introduction: postpartum psychosis is a rare event which intensely affects mother's ability and activity and in severe cases may increase the probability (of commitment) of suicide or infanticide. This article has attempted to discuss psychological view points toward maternal infanticide and legislative reactions to this case. It has emphasized on presenting ways for making advantage of psychiatric notions in judicial context. Discussion: In spite of diversity in judicial system's reactions of different countries, in criminal law of most countries a legitimate excuse is considered for infanticide because of postpartum mental illness. Since in Iranian criminal law in legal cases –like other countries-the term" insanity" is used in substitution of "psychosis" which is a medical term there is no sign of postpartum and mitigation circumstances for mothers committing infanticide because of postpartum mental illness. Conclusion: The absence of formal DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for postpartum psychiatric disorders promotes disparate treatment under the law toward the women who committed murder because of such illness. Legal psychological society should present methods to distinguish postpartum mental illness & expand the knowledge in context of psychology and law so that decisions about criminal liability of those suffering mental illnesses not to be made exclusively by judicial system.
Keywords: Postpartum Psychosis, Postpartum Depression, Infanticide, Insanity Defense, ( DSM-IV) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
Article Type: Analytical Review | Subject: Psychiatry-Forensic Psychiatry
Received: 2009/09/1

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Volume 14, Issue 4 (2009) Back to browse issues page