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Informed Consent And Refusal Essay

403 words - 2 pages

The decision of Tarasoff v. the Board of Regents of the University of California was that, for the first time imposed a liability on a therapist for failing to protect a potential victim, when therapist Dr. Moore had a client, Prosenjit Poddar that confided in him that he intended to kill a woman, he did not name the woman, but none the less he claimed he was going to kill her when she got back from her vacation, even though Dr. Moore called his supervisor and the campus police, he was still sued by The Tarasoff family when Poddar did indeed end up killing her after campus police let him go ...view middle of the document...

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Now more than ever therapists are faced with their obligation to protect their client’s privacy as well as the duty to protect third parties from harm. Especially when dealing with potentially violent clients who are court ordered to ascertain therapy. The therapist’s duty is to report back to the court or probation or parole officers while also maintaining confidentiality. It seems like a catch 22. These vague mandates can potentially hurt therapist – client confidentiality. Each state has different statutes and most states enclose when it is appropriate to breach the confidentiality agreement which is when there is imminent risk of serious physical or mental injury, disease, or death, but the therapist is given great discretion as to whether they choose to breach their client’s confidence. In some states the therapist not only does not have to divulge information that will warn a third party, but they are given immunity from liability if the client sues. In states where there are no laws, therapists are well advised to act as if they had a duty to protect the third party, more so than their client.

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