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Can psychiatry police itself effectively? The experience of one district branch
Am J Psychiatry 1976;133:653-656.
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Abstract

The growing demand by consumers and government for greater accountability from psychiatry is challenging the traditional system of self-policing by which the profession's standards of ethical conduct are established and maintained. The authors describe the operations of a district branch ethics committee, including types of complaints recieved, investigatory procedures, disposition of cases, and factors limiting the committee's effectiveness. They conclude that in some cases lack of funds, lack of time, and the use of peers to judge alleged misconduct make unbiased and thorough evaluation of complaints difficult. They suggest that psychiatry must take steps to improve public confidence in its ability to police itself so that the power to regulate professional conduct will remain within the profession.

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