TO: All Employees
FROM: Zachary Robertson, Administrator
DATE: July 2, 1976
SUBJECT: Tarasoff v. Regents of the University of California
As human service professionals, the ruling of the Tarasoff v. Regents of the University of California is very important to the ethical code we currently practice. By ruling in favor of Tarasoff, the court now implements the duty to warn and the duty to protect. Directly:
“The Court stated that when a therapist determines, or pursuant to the standards of his profession should determine, that his patient presents a serious danger of violence to ...view middle of the document...
This legislation not only affects the human service’s code of ethics, but also our decision making process. The following will provide, in greater detail, what that means to you.
Human Services Code of Ethics
The primary functions of our code of ethics are to establish guidelines for professional behavior and to assist members of the profession in establishing a professional identity. The Tarasoff case seemingly presents limitations to our current code of ethics by acknowledging that there are possible exceptions. These exceptions are not necessarily present in every case, but when they do arise, it is important that you display ethical decision-making.
Ethical Decision Making
You should continue to follow the current code of ethics, but as a human service professional, you are now responsible for your personal, professional judgment. There may be instances where your ethical decision will be challenged, such as the confidentiality clause, but through this new legislation, it is important to be mindful of the effects your decision will have on your client, as well as the people your client comes in contact with.
By incorporating your good intent with our code of ethics, you should be able to make ethical decisions that are beneficial to your clients’ well being and the well being of others, while not defying any legal rights.