The giving of a warning, defendants contend, constitutes a breach of trust which entails the revelation of confidential communications. The containment of such risks lies in the public interest. 0000032142 00000 n Plaintiffs' third cause of action, entitled “Abandonment of a Dangerous Patient,” seeks $10,000 punitive damages against defendant Powelson. We sustain defendant therapists' contention that Government Code section 856 insulates them from liability for failing to confine Poddar. 175, 188;  see also Rappeport, Psychiatrist–Patient Privilege (1963) 23 Md.L.J. 20. The Legislature has undertaken the difficult task of balancing the countervailing concerns. The majority overlooks the widespread impact of its new duty by pointing out that only a few psychiatric patients will ever really create a serious risk of violence and by assuming that the number of necessary warnings will similarly be few. 415. Finally, I conclude no justification has been shown for imposing the inordinate duty to warn on the police officers. Internet Explorer 11 is no longer supported. at p. 251, 447 P.2d at p. 363;  cf. 5. We also noted in Johnson that federal courts have consistently categorized failures to warn of latent dangers as falling outside the scope of discretionary omissions immunized by the Federal Tort Claims Act.16  (See United Air Lines, Inc. v. Weiner (9th Cir.1964) 335 F.2d 379, 397–398, cert. The cases thus exemplify an evolution from a rule of “no duty” to a rule in which imposition of a duty of care depends upon the foreseeability of serious injury and the burden of precautions. 401), requiring intensive examination of “innate and constitutional factors, the history of the individual's emotional, educational, cultural, vocational and medical backgrounds, the influence of sexual and aggressive instincts, so-called ego or personality strength, judgment and reality-testing.”  (Id. Since plaintiffs base their claim to punitive damages against defendant Powelson solely upon Powelson's failure to bring about such detention, not upon Powelson's failure to give the above described warnings, that claim likewise fails to state a cause of action. Stay up-to-date with FindLaw's newsletter for legal professionals, TARASOFF v. REGENTS OF UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA. However, I do not agree with the majority's conclusion that the psychiatrist must also disclose threats of violence based solely on his prior psychiatrist-patient relationship. Our sympathy for the victim of violent acts of the mentally ill should not blind us to the needs of the mentally ill or to the ultimate goal of reducing the level of violence. In this editorial, I will hope to show that forensic psychiatric practice raises many ethical dilemmas; not only practical, but also conceptual. 696, 704.) 369, 371 (decision to erect road block characterized as discretionary but failure to warn of resultant hazard was not). The Supreme Court recently concluded 90 minutes of oral arguments in the consolidated cases of Doe v. Significance of the Tarasoff case (play 4.53 – 9.03) Psychologist has a duty to warn an intended victim they he/she may be in danger if they believe the patient may be a serious danger to them Psychologist has a duty to protect- requires the psychologist to take active steps to protect the potential victim, but not necessarily warn them Defendant Powelson points out that plaintiffs do not allege that Powelson knew Tatiana or plaintiffs, nor that his alleged malice or oppression was directed toward them. Vitaly TARASOFF et al., Plaintiffs and Appellants, v. The REGENTS OF the UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA et al., Defendants and Respondents. This article explores the development of this issue over the last 20 years, with a focus on ways that Tarasoff has and has not affected clinical practice. System (1965) 65 Wash.2d 461, 398 P.2d 14, 401 P.2d 350;  see Freese v. Lemmon (Iowa 1973) 210 N.W.2d 576 (concurring opinion of Uhlenhopp, J.). Absent such conduct, I would disallow a cause of action for failure to warn based solely on the existence of the prior psychiatrist-patient relationship. 829, 467 P.2d 557), and the consequent public importance of safeguarding the confidential character of psychotherapeutic communication. This diagnostic process requires “a searching evaluation of the given personality in the light of his past experiences and current relationships” (Heller, Some Comments to Lawyers of the Practice of Psychiatry (1957) 30 Temp.L.Q. 402.) In Evidence Code section 1014, it established a broad rule of privilege to protect confidential communications between patient and psychotherapist. (See Hernandez v. State of California (1970) 11 Cal.App.3d 895, 90 Cal.Rptr. Diversion, any of a variety of programs that implement strategies seeking to avoid the formal processing of an offender by the criminal justice system. No language in plaintiffs' original or amended complaints suggests that Moore determined to fight Powelson but failed successfully to do so due to negligent or otherwise wrongful acts or omissions. ), Although defendant police officers technically were not “peace officers” as contemplated by the Welfare and Institutions Code,19 plaintiffs' assertion that the officers incurred liability by failing to continue Poddar's confinement clearly contemplates that the officers were “responsible for the detainment of [Poddar].”   We could not impose a duty upon the officers to keep Poddar confined yet deny them the protection furnished by a statute immunizing those “responsible for ․ [confinement].”   Because plaintiffs would have us treat defendant officers as persons who were capable of performing the functions of the “peace officers” contemplated by the Welfare and Institutions Code, we must accord defendant officers the protections which that code prescribes for such “peace officers.”. Rather, imposing the duty of reasonable care called for by Poncher, Johnson, Tarasoff, and Bragg, will better ensure that U.S. at p. 248, 447 P.2d at p. We focus our analysis on section 820.2 of the Government Code.13  That provision declares, with exceptions not applicable here, that “a public employee is not liable for an injury resulting from his act or omission where the act or omission was the result of the exercise of the discretion vested in him, whether or not such discretion [was] abused.” 14, Noting that virtually every public act admits of some element of discretion, we drew the line in Johnson v. State of California (1968) 69 Cal.2d 782, 73 Cal.Rptr. They further claim that Dr. Harvey Powelson, Moore's superior, then directed that no further action be taken to detain Poddar. Against this interest, however, we must weigh the public interest in safety from violent assault. 409. Diversion, any of a variety of programs that implement strategies seeking to avoid the formal processing of an offender by the criminal justice system. We shall point out that a second basis for liability lies in the fact that defendants' bungled attempt to confine Poddar may have deterred him from seeking further therapy and aggravated the danger to Tatiana;  having thus contributed to and partially created the danger, defendants incur the ensuing obligation to give the warning. (See Schwartz v. Helms Bakery Limited (1967) 67 Cal.2d 232, 240–242, 60 Cal.Rptr. As stated in Dillon v. Legg, supra, at page 734, 69 Cal.Rptr. 17 Cal. (See, Rector, Who Are the Dangerous? Assent is the agreement of someone not able to give legal consent to participate in the activity. Acad. at p. 704, fn. (Emphasis added.) Whether a violent act was considered foreseeable and therefore supportive of actionable negligence depends on the specific circumstances, nature of the impulsive aggression, and jurisdictional law. Under the circumstances, we conclude that plaintiffs' second amended complaints allege facts which trigger immunity for Dr. Moore under section 856.18. 9. A Japanese American family brings their maternal grandmother to their primary care physician. 1 Nesbitt: Tarasoff v. Regents of the University of California: Psychotherap … In two classes of cases the courts have imposed a duty of care:  (1) cases in which the defendant stands in some special relationship to either the person whose conduct needs to be controlled or in a relationship to the foreseeable victim of that conduct (see Rest.2d Torts, supra, §§ 315–320);  and (2) cases in which the defendant has engaged, or undertaken to engage, in affirmative action to control the anticipated dangerous conduct or protect the prospective victim. ), 1. Ethical Decision Making Guadalupe Ornelas University of Phoenix PSYCH545 April 30, 2012 Christi Moore, Ph.D. 703.) under R. 2:2-3. 885, 888 (decision how and when to conduct nuclear test deemed discretionary but failure to afford proper notice was not);  Hernandez v. United States (D.Hawaii 1953) 112 F.Supp. The police defendants include Officers Atkinson, Brownrigg and Halleran, who detained Poddar briefly but released him;  Chief Beall, who received Moore's letter recommending that Poddar be confined;  and Officer Teel, who, along with Officer Atkinson, received Moore's oral communication requesting detention of Poddar. To Cal.Government Tort liability of Governmental Units and their officers ( 1955 ) 22.! Have noted exceptions to this rule Prosenjit Poddar killed Tatiana Tarasoff Code section 1014 it... P. 363 ; cf amend must therefore be reversed Van Alstyne, Supplement to Cal.Government Tort liability ( 1969. Therapeutic exploration be deterred from seeking assistance form a trusting relationship with the psychiatrist section... 272 F.Supp ; Guttmacher and Weihofen, Privileged communications ( 1964 ) Cal.App.2d! Appears to address the issue 560 of 529 P.2d. ), released... 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