The December issue looks at the work states face to deal with the health care needs of an aging population and new approaches to teacher evaluations.
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Twenty-nine states require some or all mental health professionals to warn or protect potential victims about credible threats from their patients.
Doctors and mental health professionals are responsible for maintaining confidentiality of patient information based on the ethical standards of their profession. This concept in health care can be traced to the Roman Hippocratic Oath taken by doctors. These ethical standards have been codified into state and federal law over time, making professionals legally liable for breaching confidentiality. In an effort to protect potential victims from a patient’s violent behavior, however, Tarasoff v. The Regents of the University of California in 1976 imposed a legal duty on psychotherapists to warn third parties of potential threats to their safety.
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