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Support Lynne Fenton
Psychiatrist Lynne Fenton could not have predicted that her patient James Holmes would kill or wound dozens of people, including Jonathan Blunk, but we all knew with near absolute certainty that a victim would try to convince the courts that her failure to stop him entitles them to financial compensation. It goes with the territory: If you try to help people with mental illness, you risk that someone someday will blame you for what a patient has done and demand that you compensate them for their losses. A colleague will support that claim, and a judge will call it justice. Better that than if Blunk's widow were to have her revenge by killing Fenton or someone else. No such good deed will go unpunished.
Lynne Fenton did not pull the trigger. Lynne Fenton cannot predict the future. Lynne Fenton is a physician, not a police officer. Her job is to diagnose and treat the mentally ill, not to control their behavior.
Lynne Fenton does not deserve this. She does deserve our support.
What can we do?
I have written to Dr. Fenton offering my services as an expert witness. I have emailed the man named as her attorney, Richard Murray, at his Web page. I also plan to go on strike: I will perform no more violence risk assessments, and I will try to avoid examining or treating anyone who I am given to believe has attempted suicide or who has harmed others. I will tweet. Perhaps we can write letters to the court or picket on the courthouse steps.
What else can we do?