About | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline

28 Law & Psychol. Rev. 41 (2004)
Jurisprudent Therapy and Competency

handle is hein.journals/lpsyr28 and id is 45 raw text is: JURISPRUDENT THERAPY AND COMPETENCY

Eric Y. Drogint
INTRODUCTION
This Article serves as an introduction to a Special Issue of the Law and
Psychology Review, dedicated to the examination of Jurisprudent Therapy
perspectives on the contributions of professional psychology to selected
aspects of competency, in both civil and criminal contexts.
WHAT IS COMPETENCY?
Competency is [t]he mental ability to understand problems and make
decisions.' Recognized as a prerequisite for informed consent,2 compe-
tency is a pivotal concept in decision-making about medical treatment3 as
well as in other civil contexts including guardianship, conservatorship, child
custody, social security, workers compensation, testamentary capacity, and
personal injury litigation.   Competency issues routinely surface in the
course of criminal proceedings as well: (1) pretrial, related to issues of
self-incrimination; (2) at trial, including waiver of counsel, representing
oneself, and making guilty pleas; (3) post-trial, related to competency resto-
ration and release; and (4) post-conviction, involving sentencing and ap-
peals.5
t   J.D., Villanova University School of Law (1990); Ph.D., Hahnemann University (1991); Ad-
junct Professor of Law and Mental Health, Franklin Pierce Law Center. Please address correspondence
to 350 Lincoln Street, Suite 2400, Hingham, Massachusetts 02043, eyd@drogin.net.
I.   BLACK'S LAW DICTIONARY 278 (7th ed. 1999). See also BENJAMIN I. KAPLAN & BENJAMIN J.
SADOCK, SYNOPSIS OF PSYCHIATRY 1313 (8th ed. 1998) (defining competency as determined on the
basis of a person's ability to make a sound judgment-to weigh, to reason, and to make reasonable
decisions); GARY B. MELTON ET AL., PSYCHOLOGICAL EVALUATIONS FOR THE COURTS 337 (2d ed.
1997) (basing competency upon whether there are specific functional incapacities that render a person
incapable of making a particular kind of decision or performing a particular kind of task); ROBERT F.
SCHOPP, COMPETENCE, CONDEMNATION, AND COMMITMENT 20 (2001) (defining competence [sic] as
address[ing] the individual's ability to make reasoned decisions regarding his own personal well-
being).
2.   Gerald P. Koocher, Basic Elements of Consent, in PSYCHOLOGISTS' DESK REFERENCE 465,465
(Gerald P. Koocher et al. eds., 1998). See also JESSICA W. BERG ET AL., INFORMED CONSENT: LEGAL
THEORY AND CLINICAL PRACTICE (2d ed. 2001) (providing a comprehensive overview of legal parame-
ters of the doctrine of informed consent).
3.   THOMAS GRISSO & PAUL S. APPELBAUM, ASSESSING COMPETENCE TO CONSENT TO
TREATMENT: A GUIDE FOR PHYSICIANS AND OTHER HEALTH PROFESSIONALS 1(1998).
4.   Saleem A. Shah & A. Louis McGarry, Legal Psychiatry and Psychology: Review of Programs,
Training, and Qualifications, in FORENSIC PSYCHIATRY AND PSYCHOLOGY: PERSPECTIVES AND
STANDARDS FOR INTERDISCIPLINARY PRACTICE 7, 37 (William J. Curran et al. eds., 1986).
5.   JOHN PARRY & ERIC Y. DROGIN, CRIMINAL LAW HANDBOOK ON PSYCHIATRIC AND
PSYCHOLOGICAL EVIDENCE AND TESTIMONY § 3.01 (2000).

What Is HeinOnline?

HeinOnline is a subscription-based resource containing nearly 3,000 academic and legal journals from inception; complete coverage of government documents such as U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Code, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Reports, and much more. Documents are image-based, fully searchable PDFs with the authority of print combined with the accessibility of a user-friendly and powerful database. For more information, request a quote or trial for your organization below.



Short-term subscription options include 24 hours, 48 hours, or 1 week to HeinOnline with pricing starting as low as $29.95

Contact us for annual subscription options:

Already a HeinOnline Subscriber?

profiles profiles most