Criminal Culpability for Acts Committed During a Possible Episode of REM Sleep Behavior Disorder

Joseph S. Kass, MD, JD, FAAN; Rachel V. Rose, JD, MBA Sleep Neurology p. 1070-1074 August 2020, Vol.26, No.4 doi: 10.1212/CON.0000000000000875
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Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder (RBD) may result in a patient injuring a bed partner while acting out a dream. This article examines the complexities associated with RBD as a criminal defense strategy as well as the legal implications for physicians and their duty to patients and their families to mitigate risks associated with possible injuries related to RBD.

Address correspondence to Dr Joseph S. Kass, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza M-210, Houston, TX 77030, kass@bcm.edu.

RELATIONSHIP DISCLOSURE: Dr Kass serves as associate editor of medicolegal issues for Continuum, as an associate editor for Continuum Audio, as a neurology section editor of Ferri’s Clinical Advisor for Elsevier, and as co-editor of Neurology Secrets, Sixth Edition. Dr Kass has received personal compensation for CME lectures from Pri-Med LLC and as a principal investigator for clinical trials for Alzheimer disease from Biogen, Eisai Co, Ltd, Eli Lily and Company, the National Institutes of Health, Novartis AG, and Roche Diagnostics. Ms Rose serves on the editorial board of BC Advantage and receives book royalties from the American Bar Association.

UNLABELED USE OF PRODUCTS/INVESTIGATIONAL USE DISCLOSURE: Dr Kass and Ms Rose report no disclosures.

© 2020 American Academy of Neurology.