This course covers screening, forensic evaluation, and pre and post DSM-5 diagnosis, using
the multi-disciplinary diagnostic process, including a proposed model standard for forensic assessment,
and useful diagnostic tools. It will explore the relevance of prenatal alcohol exposure on cognition and across the criminal justice spectrum. Discussion includes impacts of fetal alcohol exposure on mental
health, trouble with the law, inappropriate sexual behavior, and employment and living dependency issues.
We will analyze Atkins v. Virginia, banning the death penalty for defendants with MR/ID, the problems
presented in its application under DSM-4 with reference to the role of adaptive behavior deficits in MR/
ID diagnosis, and projections of future post-Atkins case law due to changes in the DSM-5 definitions
of ID and Neurodevelopmental prenatal alcohol exposure (ND-PAE) and Neurobehavioral Disorder
Associated With Prenatal Alcohol Exposure.
In addition, the course will identify high risk factors and secondary disabilities and their impacts in the
context of executive and adaptive behavioral dysfunctions together with identification of some of the
effective therapeutic, medication, and support system interventions.
Part of "Empathy: The Development and Disintegration of Human Connection"
A symposium sponsored by the Center for Law, Brain, and Behavior
January 17, 2013 | Bornstein Amphitheater | Brigham & Women's Hospital
Judith Edersheim, JD, MD is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard
Medical School, a senior consultant to the Law and Psychiatry Service at
Massachusetts General Hospital, and Co-Director of the Center for Law, Brain
and Behavior. Dr. Edersheim graduated magna cum laude from Brown
University and attended law school at Harvard, where she graduated cum laude.
She was a law clerk to the Honorable Robert W. Sweet, United States District
Judge for the Southern District of New York, and practiced law at the firm of Hill
and Barlow before returning to Harvard Medical School. She received her clinical
psychiatry training at the Cambridge Hospital adult psychiatry residency program
before completing a fellowship in the Law and Psychiatry service at Massachusetts
General Hospital. She is a member of the Bar of the Commonwealth of
Massachusetts, is licensed to practice medicine in Massachusetts and is Board
Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, with added
qualifications in Forensic Psychiatry. Dr. Edersheim has performed a wide variety
of forensic evaluations in both civil and criminal settings, including evaluations of
competencies to stand trial, testamentary capacity, the capacity to make medical
decisions, fitness for duty, the assessment of emotional damages, diminished
capacity and criminal responsibility. She is a principal lecturer in the forensic
psychiatry fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital and teaches forensic
psychiatry to adult psychiatry residents at MGH and McLean Hospitals. Dr.
Edersheim teaches extensively in the legal arena, including lectures sponsored
by the Boston Bar Association, the Judicial Institute, and the Mental Health Legal