What would you do if you experienced such a conflict? §33-3-207 March 1, 2002 The duty is discharged by voluntary admission to the hospital, warning potential victims, pursuing involuntary commission or taking a course of action consistent with professional standards. §42-22-90 Yes Permissive Mental Health Professionals including General Physicians, Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Psychotherapists, Nurses, Social Workers, or other staff members employed in a patient therapist capacity or employees under supervision. Attorneys sometimes play a similar role to that of social workers and are privy to information about potential violence. Although the psychotherapist did not directly warn Tarasoff or the family, the psychologist notified the police, who interviewed Poddar for commitment. This duty can be discharged by making a reasonable effort to communicate the threat to the victim or to a law enforcement agency, or to hospitalize the patient. In deciding whether duty to protect is present under the law, judges generally consider whether a there was a special relationship and the client communicated an intended threat directly to the therapist, b harmful action such as severe injury, death, or psychological harm was foreseeable and imminent, and c the victim was identifiable. For the clinician, a working knowledge of basic forensic social work would help in navigating the system of law in a way that is both helpful and contributes to the best interest of the client.
July 1, 2002 Mental health professionals may predict, warn or take precautions if and only if an actual threat of bodily harm against a clearly identified victim is communicated and the professional, using the reasonable skill, knowledge, and care ordinarily possessed and exercised by the professional's specialty under similar circumstances, has determined or reasonably should have determined that the service recipient has the apparent ability to commit such an act and is likely to carry out the threat unless prevented from doing so. Especially with new patients or any patients whose symptoms are becoming worse, it is important to know whether they are dangerous to others and whether the danger is due to mental illness. The police only warned Poddar to stay away from Tarasoff. If the client doesn't trust his social worker and withholds important information, the social worker won't be able to treat the client effectively. For example, guidance is needed on any required threshold for dangerousness and likely harm that necessitates action, how to define and determine if a threat is imminent, how quickly the psychotherapist must take required actions upon learning of a threat, and how much latitude the psychotherapist is allowed in exercising her or his own judgment in each of these areas. Duty to Warn Courts have established that social workers have a legal obligation to warn the potential victim if they believe their client presents an imminent threat to that individual.
Regents of the University of California, 108 Cal. Although his willingness to come to our meeting was a good start, I was able to gather only limited information from William, as he was thoroughly guarded and defended against attempts to build a meaningful alliance. See Arkansas Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorneys, Rule 1. After Tarasoff returned from a summer in Brazil, Poddar murdered Tatiana with a knife. Many health professionals find conflicting information between statutes, legal rulings, ethical obligations, and their understanding of what their duties and obligations are. Ethics and Behavior, 13 3 , 263-278. In the counseling session, David insists that he is going to hurt his wife tonight at the house.
The contentious nature of the divorce and the interference by the grandparents certainly made this case much more complex than some. The family refuses this request, feeling that the 88-year-old woman can care for herself in her home. They asserted that if the therapist knew that Poddar was indeed a danger and there was intent related to his threat to his victim, that they had a duty to warn her. Regents of the University of California, 118 Cal. In addition, there is no duty to warn if there is no identifiable victim. Laws regarding mandated reporting and other limits of confidentiality differ.
It becomes imperative for social workers, in making thoughtful and careful decisions, to keep well documented records and to be consistent with the law. Good clinical practice encourages social workers to send battering partners to treatment to work on issues of power and control. If the client turns out not to be dangerous and the counselor was insensitive in forming an assessment, the client may lose the opportunity for therapeutic intervention for long-term progress. Psychological problems, social issues, and law. See Estate of Eric S. Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article. The social worker must make an assessment of the potential for real threat and harm to the other.
Recent violent events have raised concerns about how to protect the public from potentially violent patients. They determined that the duty to protect was not sufficiently discharged by initiating involuntary commitment and could be discharged only by warning the identifiable victims. What are the legal considerations in these situations? In many articles on social work ethics, it has been pointed out that what social workers do is based on values, and social work ethics are really social work values in action. These findings illustrate both general expectations and confusion about confidentiality our clients may have when presenting for treatment. After her departure, Poddar began to improve and at the suggestion of a friend sought psychological assistance.
Wessner 2004 Georgia Rules of the State Board of Examiners of Psychologists have a provision allowing for discretionary disclosure of confidential information to protect the client, the psychologist or others from harm. Jablonski, but did not review Jablonski's history of violence. Specifically Lists § 1010 for the Evidence Code under which a psychotherapist can disclose if, in good faith, they believe that the disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of a reasonably foreseeable victim or victims, and the disclosure is made to a person or persons reasonably able to prevent or lessen the threat, including the target of the threat. If it is unclear whether the facts give rise to a duty to warn obligation, clinicians should consult colleagues, and maintain written notes of all such consultations to demonstrate sound professional practice. The husband reports that he has made threatening comments to his wife in the past. During the course of counseling, Brian discloses that he continues to be sexually active with his wife and also occasionally with anonymous male partners.
I further explained that it would not be appropriate for me to reveal any specific information in this regard, as it may affect the therapeutic relationship and trust that had developed, not to mention the issue of confidentiality. During the summer of 1969, Tarasoff went to. University of Cincinnati Law Review, 175, 447-496. At points, what may be most helpful for all concerned is to seek consultation and, of course, document it. This gave rise to feelings of resentment in Poddar.