Why wasn't Dr Lecter disbarred ?

In the films “The Silence of the Lambs” and “Hannibal”, Hannibal Lecter is constantly referred to as “Doctor Lecter”. However, surely if a doctor is convicted of murder they’d be struck off the medical register and thus not entitled to be referred to as “Doctor” ?

I’m guessing you have neither read the novels nor actually paid attention to the movies…

“Disbarred” refers to people who practise the law…something of which Hannibal Lecter was never accused.

He most probably had his license revoked.

But since he had completed the degree, his title is properly “Doctor”. Even though he behaved poorly as such.

Similarly, Bill Clinton is still called “President”. :smiley:

Or the scene from “Evita”:
***Eva Peron:**Did you hear that? They called me a whore! They actually called me a whore! *
***Italian Admiral:**But Segnora Peron, it’s an easy mistake. I’m still called an admiral, though I gave up the sea long ago.

Thanks AWB ! All is clear now.

AWB’s point occurred to me before I even opened the thread. I think the issue of presidents retaining the title is an American protocol though. Similarly, American military personnel retain the title they had upon retirement except in the case of a dishonourable discharge. Schwarzkopf is still properly referred to as General albeit with the (ret.) tag after his name.

What, because he/she accidentally used the term for lawyers as opposed to the one for doctors?


BTW, welcome to the boards, The Preacher.

and maybe because it’s FICTION:rolleyes:

Former monarchs are correctly addressed as your Majesty, so, not to be outdone, democracies tend to view the title of President of a nation as a lifetime title.

I am sure some of the people who addressed Doctor Lecter as Doctor did so in order to reduce the likelihood of an intimate encounter with a side dish, and a nice Chianti.


Not to get too nitpicky, but from other threads on the honorary title subject I think that Bill Clinton should technically be addressed as “Governor.”

However, it’s pretty common to refer to former presidents as “President.” I’ll see if I can drag up a thread without bringing the board to its knees.

Addressing a Former President

(This of course doesn’t factually alter AWB’s quite sensible explanation.)

But why would Clinton be referred to as “Governor”? He’s not one of those either. He hasn’t been one since 1992.

No one refers to Reagan as “Governor Reagan” and Carter is not “Governor Carter”. Bush the Elder is not “Ambassador Bush”.

You could be right, but finding out what the logic for such a decision is would be interesting.

George Marshall, even after he left the military, and served in the Cabinet as Secretary of State and also Secretary of Defense, was still called “General” even by President Truman.

But, there’s the Sam Sheppard case. Sam Sheppard was a doctor whose wife was brutally murdered, Shepperd was convicted, freed, etc. (If you don’t know, this is the case that inspired the TV series The Fugitive.) Rarely, have I ever heard of Sam Sheppard referred to as “Dr. Sheppard,” Cecil did a column on Sheppard and I don’t think that he referred to him as “Dr.”, but I’m not sure as I can’t find it in the archives.

This depends entirely on the point of view of who’s doing the addressing. But if you want to speak in “official” terms, the “correct” title for an ex-monarch is determined by whoever replaces him or her. I doubt that Charles I of England was given the courtesy of an honorific when his death sentence was read, nor Nicholas II of Russia, nor Louis XVI of France.

Jack Kervorkian, the suicide doctor, is still referred to as “Dr. Kervorkian,” even though he lost his license (although these days he’s usually referred to as “Inmate #157321:wink: ). The title Doctor indicates a level of education, which can’t be taken away.

About former presidents and such, IIRC the usual protocol is to refer to retired statesmen by the highest title they achieved.

Back on Hannibal Lecter, I think Tris has the best explanation. They called him ‘Doctor Lecter’ because they wanted to have a discussion. If they’d called him ‘Mister Cannibal’, he’d have refused to respond. He is a stickler for courtesy, you know.

I don’t know if this is accurate, but I came across Charles I’s death warrant on the web.

It’s at http://www.agh-attorneys.com/4_charles_1_death_warrant.htm