Competency for military arrest as a psychiatric problem

A. Grinspoon, A. Levy, Y. Lerner, A. Bleich, M. Kotler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Military law does not invest physicians with the authority to determine whether a soldier is competent when faced with military arrest, as this is a legal determination. Therefore, medical (or psychiatric) examination carried out before or during military arrest or detention, is aimed at preventing deterioration in the health of the imprisoned soldier. Hence, medical opinion serves only as a "credential" of sorts, the formal language of the military law. In reality, the examining psychiatrist has to consider many factors, including the probability that his conclusions will provide an important basis for the decision of the military legal officer as to whether to enforce military arrest. To illustrate the complicated considerations facing military psychiatrists, several case reports are presented of patients examined in the Israel Defence Forces central psychiatric clinic as to competency for military arrest.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-407
Number of pages3
Issue number8
StatePublished - 16 Apr 1989


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