If a patient commits homicide

This section has been created to support psychiatrists during the difficult time when a patient under their care has perpetrated a homicide.

There is a growing body of evidence about the significant impact homicide by a patient can have on clinicians. There is little systemic recognition of the effect of this experience which can lead to a range of outcomes for individuals and organisations including:

  • emotional distress
  • mental health problems
  • career change
  • early retirement
  • negative media interest
  • professional sanctions.

The working group on the effect of patient suicide and homicide on clinicians have developed some resources to meet this need. These resources have been developed by members who have experienced a patient homicide.


Personal accounts

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Dr Rob Ferris

In this video Dr Rob Ferris is interviewed about his experience when a patient under his care perpetrated a homicide. He discusses the emotional and professional impact.

Dr Mark Salter

In this video Dr Mark Salter discusses the impact on him of patient perpetrated homicide and the subsequent media interest.


The following resources are on the College's eLearning Hub.

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