4 Frequently Asked Questions in Medical Expertise

The medical expertise relates Medicine and Law and is fundamental in Health Law. Dr. Fuertes Rocañín, a renowned psychiatrist specializing in Legal and Forensic Medicine, is daily confronted with hundreds of questions related to Forensic Psychiatry and medical expertise. In this article, the doctor answers 4 frequently asked questions about this specialty.

How can you know if your will will will be respected?

A will is a very personal act that is made before a notary and in which a person expresses his or her will regarding the distribution of his or her estate after his or her death. In certain cases, heirs may challenge a will on the grounds that the person had, at the time he or she made it, insanity or impairment, and that it is therefore invalid. Although it is difficult to be considered as such by a court (the only one that can do so), if what we want is to make sure that our will will will be respected, the best way is to make the will accompanied by a psychiatrist doctor who certifies in that same act and moment that the person does not have any mental alteration that prevents him/her from making a will. This would also be applicable to any other type of legal business such as sales and purchases, donations, etc.

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Can you legally drive if you have taken a tranquilizer?

If we stick to the letter of the law, the answer is no. Article 379.2 of the Penal Code punishes driving under the influence of alcohol, toxic drugs, narcotics and psychotropic substances. It is understood that the purpose of this article is to avoid driving “under the negative or harmful influence” of these substances, but its wording can cause problems if, when we are tested for drugs, we test positive for benzodiazepines. It is important to know this and to be clear about it. It is very likely that if this goes before a judge, we will be acquitted, but no one will take away our bad time.

Can an elderly person be admitted to a nursing home against his or her will?

To admit a person suffering from a mental disorder against his or her will, prior judicial authorization is required, according to article 763 of the Civil Procedure Law. Only if there are reasons of urgency this measure can be adopted, of which the judge will be informed as soon as possible and always before 24 hours. Therefore, no one can be admitted to a nursing home or any other place without a judicial decision authorizing it.

Does being a drug addict exempt me from liability?

The existence of a disease such as substance addiction alone is not a cause for exemption from liability in the field of criminal law. For a disease, in this case drug addiction, to modify criminal liability, it is necessary that such a disorder prevents the subject from understanding the unlawfulness of his conduct and from acting in accordance with such understanding. This will be decided by the court hearing the case, taking into account all the elements presented to it.