Psychiatrists: When Do They Have a ‘Duty to Warn’?

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A conversation with a psychiatrist is traditionally given the same status of “privilege” as a conversation with a lawyer, a physician or a priest. The purpose is essentially the same: To encourage individuals to seek advice, guidance and treatment by assuring them that what they reveal won’t be betrayed.

Candor is especially critical when it comes to mental illnesses. A psychiatrist can’t, say, take blood or do an MRI to diagnose and then properly treat the patient. Instead . . .

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