Confidentiality and privacy in social work. Provides for immunity from a cause of action for disclosing confidential information to prevent harm. A social worker must assess whether and when to apply duty to warn or protect and when to protect confidentiality, and this is not an easy decision. The mental health professional shall be immune from suits arising from confidences disclosed to third parties in an effort to discharge the duty under this section. Possibly permissive disclosure if Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorney's would apply - See opinion of attorney general Ark.
Some suggest that had Moore not reported the threats, Poddar may have remained in treatment. What about instilling in clients certain basic values such as responsibility, avoiding harm to others, being honest with others, self-determination, developing the ability to give and receive affection, finding a sense of purpose, and living authentically? Mental health professionals performing an evaluation and developing a treatment plan may be at risk for malpractice litigation when reasonable care is not exercised to prevent harm to a third party. Further, some commentators highlight that once a warning is given to an intended victim there may be no follow-up or additional assistance provided. If you have any questions, consult an attorney or risk management professional. Post notices to guest of the availability of the safes 3.
Protecting the well being of homicidal and suicidal clients is the obligation of professional social workers. The principles for managing a threat of violence are generally the same as those for dealing with a suicidal threat. Protecting victims of violent patients while protecting confidentiality. Despite initial commentators predictions of negative consequences for psychotherapy because of the Tarasoff ruling, court decisions show otherwise. David has hurt his wife three times with moderate injury each time. Moore requested that the campus police detain Poddar, writing that, in his opinion, Poddar was suffering from , acute and severe. History of Duty to Warn The duty to warn became law in California with the.
Regents of the University of California. The grandfather pressed me further and insisted that I would be compelled to reveal any specific information if asked by a judge. In many cases, the social worker must exercise her own judgment on duty to warn. Based on this incomplete data, he determined erroneously that Jablonski was not a danger to himself or others and released him. The social worker determines that the threat posed is not serious.
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. Poddar stated to the university health science psychologist that he intended to kill an unnamed woman, who was identified as Tatiana Tarasoff. Board of Education 1954, U. There is no privilege under this rule as to a communication reflecting the client's intent to commit a criminal or tortuous act that the psychologist reasonably believes is likely to result in death or substantial bodily harm. He is a licensed social worker in Pennsylvania with a specialty in children, adolescents, and their families. Social workers are also required by their professional ethics standards to protect client confidentiality, even to the extent of trying to limit the scope of any court order they may be given. §5-609 Yes Mandatory Mental Health Provider or any facility that provides treatment for mental disorders.
§33-3-208 July 1, 2002 Employees of Mental Health Professional shall tell the professional if they receive communication of a threat against a specific victim from a recipient of services. Poddar terminated therapy and eventually went to Ms. July 1, 2010 A mental health service provider has a duty to take precautions to protect third parties from violent behavior or other serious harm only when the client has orally, in writing, or via sign language, communicated to the provider a specific and immediate threat to cause serious bodily injury or death to an identified or readily identifiable person or persons, if the provider reasonably believes, or should believe according to the standards of his profession, that the client has the intent and ability to carry out that threat immediately or imminently. This evaluation would include a battery of psychological assessments, including measures of any potential dangerousness. University of Cincinnati Law Review, 175, 447-496. Regents of the University of California, 17 Cal.
They also argued that the police failed to confine Poddar, under the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act. He can be reached at jcorbin psualum. This view was not shared by Tarasoff who, upon learning of his feelings, told him that she was involved with other men and that she was not interested in entering into an intimate relationship with him. Being able to protect potential victims from harm and protecting clients from self-harm have become ethical obligations in social work practice. When Colello was released, he murdered Ewing and then committed suicide.
What are the issues legally relevant to my work with this client? They also argued that they had governmental immunity, as employees of the state. Social Work, 48 2 , 237-246. These findings illustrate both general expectations and confusion about confidentiality our clients may have when presenting for treatment. This gave rise to feelings of resentment in Poddar. Under ethical standards tracing back to the , doctors and mental health professionals usually must maintain the confidentiality of information disclosed to them by patients in the course of the doctor-patient relationship.