Hong Kong Journal of Psychiatry (1995) 5, 3-4



Like a small child the Journal has grown in the past 5 years from a crawler to a toddler and now an active child enrolled into school to learn more from teachers and peers. The adoption of the title of Hong Kong Journal of Psychiatry is just like the "study name 學字" given to a child on the first day of school in Chinese tradition. It signifies the vision and determination of the editorial board in establishng the status of the Journal as a summated contribution by psychiatrists and other mental health professionals of Hong Kong as well as by affiliated health professionals all over the world.

Working under the auspices of the Publication Committee of the Hong Kong College of Psychiatrists, the editorial board has been given great autonomy and will strive for higher transparency in its operation. We aim at further refinement and streamlining of the editorial procedures, better delineation and organization of editorial board with extended recruitment of editors and assistance editors, and promotion of participation by all members of our College. In line with the sub-specialty development in Hong Kong, the Journal will go on adopting special topics in different issues. It is on Forensic Psychiatry in the present issue.

Although the Mental Health (Amendment) Ordinance 1988 is somewhat more comprehensive than the previous ones, there are still much room for clarification and improvement. The definition of sub-categories of "mental disorder" awaits refinement. The operation of conditional discharge and guardianship needs better collaboration among the mental health professionals. The Mental Health Review Tribunal certainly has brought with it many changes in the mental health services. These are all interesting issues which deserve more deliberation.

In Forensic Psychiatry, one of the many puzzling issues is the prediction of dangerousness. There is as yet no reliable means to measure the degree of dangerousness. Detailed assessment of criminal behaviour and circumstances is usually the rule. Morbid jealousy has a historical relationship with dangerous behaviour. Professor Mullen's paper and the article from colleagues in Shanghai expound on the issues of morbid jealousy and dangerousness.

Besides criminal aspects, the civil side of forensic psychiatry can be equally fascinating and baffling. Dr. H. K. Cheung's paper gives a comprehensive review on the issue of consent to medical procedures. Issues involving claims for compensation is another area in which we are still lacking in guidelines or protocols in tackling.

Forensic psychiatry is a recognized sub-specialty in Hong Kong. Junior and senior trainees are encouraged to gain experience and training in this area. Drs. Meux and Exworthy's paper elaborates on training in forensic psychiatry with an English perspective. In the Scraps of History, interesting facts about the laws for insane off enders in Qing China are unearthed.

Dr. K.Y. Mak's article touches on the important issue of setting priorities in the development of psychiatric services in Hong Kong on which Dr. William Ho has given his comments from a public health planner's persperctive. This issue actually deserves more comments and view points from other colleagues who are involved in the planning of psychiatric services in Hong Kong.

We would keep on improving the quality of the Journal both in its scientific standard as well as editorial standard. For this purpose, we have been invited more honorary advisors as well as an honorary advisor on statistics. We aim at publishing two issues per annum from volume 6 onward. For this we need your further support by submitting more original articles or letters to editor, by giving feedbacks and comments for our improvement, and by introducing our Journal to more potential readers and contributors.

The Journal relies on you for its further development!

Editorial Board
Hong Kong Journal of Psychiatry 

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