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Tarasoff Decision & HIPAA regulations

What is the Tarasoff Decision?
How did it affect the professional practice of psychology?
What was the Redmond v. Jaffee Supreme Court ruling? What impact did this ruling have on the concept of privileged communication?

What are HIPAA regulations?
How have these regulations impacted mental health care?
How do you feel about the role of legal decisions (case law) and governmental regulations on psychology practice?

Solution Preview

Let's take a closer look at the four questions from various sources, which you can draw on for your final copies. I also provided some extra information regarding the last question at the end of this response that further expands on my response.

RESPONSE:

1. What is the Tarasoff Decision? How did it affect the professional practice of psychology?

In 1974, the Tara off Decision, the landmark decision was first handed down. The Court ruled that the therapist bears a duty of reasonable care to give threatened persons such warning as to avert foreseeable danger arising from the patient's mental state. This impacted practice as they were legally liable if/when they failed tl warn someone who the client has threatened to harm or kill. This set another legal limit on confidentiality that had to be discussed upfront with the client.
In fact, this decision meant that police and mental health professionals were obligated to warn potential victims. However, the case was reheard by the California Supreme Court in 1976. The revised decision held that, while police could not be held liable, health professionals were obliged to warn potential victims because of the "special relationship between a patient and his doctor or psychotherapist". In an often-quoted statement by Justice Matthew Tobriner presenting the majority opinion: ""... the confidential character of patient-psychotherapist communications must yield to the extent that disclosure is essential to avert danger to others. The protective privilege ends where the public peril begins." (cited in http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Tarasoff-Decision&id=827885)

2. What was the Redmond v. Jaffee Supreme Court ruling? What impact did this ruling have on the concept of privileged communication?

In 1996, the U.S. Supreme Court established the psychotherapist-patient privilege in the Supreme Court ruling of Redmond v. Jaffee. This important decision had an important impact on privileges communication as it "was the ultimate societal expression of the need to provide absolute protection from disclosure of communications between psychotherapists and their patients". ...

Solution Summary

By addressing the questions, this solution discusses aspects of the Tarasoff Decision and the HIPAA regulations.

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