Analysis Of The Psychology's Duty To Warn

2137 words - 9 pages

The duty to warn refers to a psychologist notifying a potential third party or governing authorities of the danger that might be inevitable. The duty to warn goes together with the duty to protect a third party whose life might be in danger. The therapist has a legal role to play by protecting a third party from danger through hospitalization and outpatient therapy while still observing confidentiality. However, the duty to warn might require the confidentiality to be overlooked. Duty to warn refers to warning an individual but not the public. When a person threatens the public, they should not be notified even if the danger gets noted. A psychologist has a role to play in every client’s life.
An example is when a person threatens to transmit HIV and other diseases. It may be illegal in many countries for a person to infect other people with a disease knowingly especially HIV. However, a clinical psychologist should not be obligated to tell the other people of the risk of transmission. The client has a right to confidentiality. Duty to warn got developed when Tarasoff got murdered by a person who had threatened to do so. He had told the therapist that one day he would murder her, but the therapist protected the client’s confidentiality. When Tarasoff got killed in 1976, her parents went to court to report the Regents of the University of California. Another case was Jabloski by Pahls v. US. This case extended the duty to warn when it included reviewing history to detect history of violence. Jabloski had a history of violence that got discovered through an assessment by the doctors. Since the doctor failed to notify his girlfriend Kimbal, She got killed by him when Jabloski got released from the hospital (Cherry 2014).
A duty to warn can be illustrated using an example of child abuse. The psychologist should report when a child is in danger of getting harmed by another person. The confidentiality and additional intervention such as treatment get disregarded in such a case. The problem gets realized when one seeks to find guidelines on how severe the harm should be before a clinical therapist decides to breach confidentiality. Legislation insists that the danger should be clear and imminent before breaking the confidentiality. This guideline can be interpreted differently by people and in different cultures. For some people, abusing a child is a danger and to others it means a much severe action getting taken against a child.
Therapists get legally allowed to warn others of potential dangers. This article should expound on how this can be done, and when the need should be identified by clinician. An ethical decision has to be made by an individual when they decide to exercise their duty to warn. Duty to warn allows the counselors, and psychological therapists to breach confidentiality when a person endangers life of another. The clinical therapists cannot be prosecuted for warning a third party of imminent danger or if they unreasonably suspect...

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