PSYCH 438 University of Wisconsin Green Bay Psychology Questions

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discussion post due 6/13 I will extend once I receive the discussion post

peer responses due 6/16 –Peer post attached for the responses

In some jurisdictions, mental health professionals can be held liable for not warning potential victims of violence or physical harm at the hands of their patients. In late 1969, a young California woman was murdered by a man who 2 months earlier had confided to his psychologist his intention to kill her. Although the psychologist, who was employed by the University of California, had notified campus police of the death threat, he informed no one else except his supervisor. After the murder, the woman’s parents sued the university, the psychologist, and the police for failing to warn the family and take action against the offender. This case established the well-known Tarasoff v, Regents of the University of California (1974, 1976) ruling.

Answer both questions and respond to two classmates:

1. To what extent should psychologists and other mental health professionals be required to report concerns about their clients to local authorities? If you were drafting a Tarasoff-like law, how would you phrase it? 

2. Commentators have remarked that even without these laws, or even in jurisdictions where the Tarasoff doctrine has been explicitly rejected, mental health practitioners typically abide by the spirit of Tarasoff. Discuss how this might be done.

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