Ethics, psychiatry and prisons; Professor Rix tells us about his career at the sharp edge of forensic practice.
Keith Rix is an enormously experienced forensic psychiatrist. In this conversation he shares reflections on his early career choices and how he came to make them. We cover family courts, working inside prisons, being an expert witness and cases with the potential of a death penalty.
Professor Keith Rix, BMedBiol (Hons), MPhil, LLM, MD, FRCPsych, Hon FFFLM, is a consultant forensic psychiatrist. His involvement in the forensic field began in the 1960’s when he lived in hostels in London with ex-offenders and assessed prisoners for hostel admission. He moved to Leeds as senior lecturer in psychiatry in 1983 and became a visiting consultant psychiatrist at HM Prison, Leeds. He established the Leeds Magistrates’ Court Mental Health Assessment and Diversion Scheme and the city’s forensic psychiatry service. He has provided expert evidence to the courts for over thirty years, including evidence on a pro bono basis in capital cases in the Caribbean and Africa, and he is the author of Expert Psychiatric Evidence and lead author of the Royal College of Psychiatrists report Responsibilities of psychiatrists who provide expert opinion to courts and tribunals. He is also the editor of A Handbook for Trainee Psychiatrists and co-author, with his wife Elizabeth Lumsden Rix, of Alcohol Problems. Until recently he was a Chairman of the Fitness to Practise Panel of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service and part-time lecturer in the Department of Law, De Montfort University, Leicester. He is now Visiting Professor of Medical Jurisprudence, Institute of Medicine, University of Chester, and Honorary Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist in the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust. In 2015 he was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Forensic & Legal Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians.