ACC and Schizophrenia

There is no consensus over the cause of schizophrenia. It is generally agreed that it arises from a combination of factors hence each each case should be treated as unique.

Dr Tony O’Brien (University of Auckland’s School of Nursing) states “The biggest myth… is that it’s a solely biological disorder,” . Dr O’Brien was speaking after a landmark legal decision in 2013 (LS v ACC). It linked a case of schizophrenia to childhood sexual abuse ( A newly-released decision (27/11/15) serves as a second landmark. It involved a man who had fractured his skull in a car crash when he was 13.  He won his battle with ACC for compensation after developing schizophrenia several years later.

“It’s the first time we’ve had a case where the link between adult psychosis and a traumatic brain injury has filtered into accident insurance litigation,” said lawyer Hunter de Groot. In delivering their verdicts in both cases, the judges made the same point: legal decisions may infer causation where expert witnesses cannot. More: The Mental Health Foundation has a treatment guide for carers and people suffering from schizophrenia here:

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