Legal Obligations to the Dangerous Patient Legal Obligations to the Dangerous Patient | allnurses

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Legal Obligations to the Dangerous Patient

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    When a nurse encounters a patient who is likely to harm himself or another, the nurse may be torn between a call to prevent harm and the need to respect the patient's rights to confidentiality and autonomy. Ideally, the nurse would identify the danger area and advise the patient of the safest means of protecting self and others, and the patient would agree. But what if the patient doesn't agree? By warning others of the danger, the nurse is certain to breach patient confidentiality.
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