Tarasoff--Duty to Warn - page 2

Have you ever had to use the Duty to Warn (Tarasoff) law? We have a patient who has repeatedly stated that she is going to kill a particular person (the person who sexually abused her as a child)... Read More

  1. by   Undecided7
    I know this is an old thread, but in case someone else comes across it, I have some different thoughts. Does anyone think maybe she SHOULD kill this guy? Is her plan good or does she need some help with it? I know in our society we are supposed to follow the laws and not kill people no matter what they do to us. However, the "good" may outweigh the "bad" here. It would save taxpayers money on a costly trial and incarceration, she might get some closure, he would never be able to ruin another life again (and we all know how child molesters are), and she would be aquitted or get minimal punishment d/t the circumstances, her documented psych problems, and age. We all win. Besides, it sends a good message: If you don't want to be murdered, maybe you shouldn't rape kids!
    I have never been raped myself, thank God, but does anyone else think maybe this "duty to warn" law shouldn't be used with preditors? After all, the girl in question didn't get a warning.
  2. by   elkpark
    I know this is an old thread, but in case someone else comes across it, I have some different thoughts. Does anyone think maybe she SHOULD kill this guy? Is her plan good or does she need some help with it? I know in our society we are supposed to follow the laws and not kill people no matter what they do to us. However, the "good" may outweigh the "bad" here. It would save taxpayers money on a costly trial and incarceration, she might get some closure, he would never be able to ruin another life again (and we all know how child molesters are), and she would be aquitted or get minimal punishment d/t the circumstances, her documented psych problems, and age. We all win. Besides, it sends a good message: If you don't want to be murdered, maybe you shouldn't rape kids!
    I have never been raped myself, thank God, but does anyone else think maybe this "duty to warn" law shouldn't be used with preditors? After all, the girl in question didn't get a warning.
    I will resist the temptation to respond to the troubling moral/ethical issues raised by your post, and just repond to the legal/professional issues ...

    The whole point of the various "duty to warn" state statutes is that, if you knew she was a legitimate threat to someone's safety (even someone you personally don't approve of ...), did not take steps to make the target person or law enforcement authorities aware of the risk, and she acts on her threats and harms or kills the other person, you are vulnerable to being sued in civil court by the person or his survivors (and could expect to lose and get hit with a large $$$ judgement against you -- there are numerous precedents). You would certainly have to answer to your licensing board. You could also be facing criminal conspiracy and accessory charges.

    If you feel so strongly about this issue that you're willing to make yourself a martyr by throwing away your license and career, and possibly ending up in prison and a convicted felon for life, on behalf of a client, you are certainly welcome to do so, but I gotta say that I would have to think that someone who would do that has some pretty serious professional boundary issues ...
  3. by   Undecided7
    I understand your point, but I guess I'm saying maybe the law should be changed. What is legal and what is ethical don't always match. Maybe there should be a law that if someone kills a known child molester (especially a repeat offender), that should be different than someone that wants to kill an innocent person. Perhaps it could be a much lesser crime- like a traffic violation. Besides, I don't really think a disturbed child or teen should take that on herself- much better to hire a professional for those kind of jobs.
  4. by   gwenith
    Quote from Undecided7
    I understand your point, but I guess I'm saying maybe the law should be changed. What is legal and what is ethical don't always match. Maybe there should be a law that if someone kills a known child molester (especially a repeat offender), that should be different than someone that wants to kill an innocent person. Perhaps it could be a much lesser crime- like a traffic violation. Besides, I don't really think a disturbed child or teen should take that on herself- much better to hire a professional for those kind of jobs.
    Not long ago there was a reporter who used comments like these on this board to "prove" that Registered nurses were untrustworthy and contemplated murdering thier patients. I would counsel anyone to please, for the sake of our profession, think twice about saying things like this on an open board on the internet.
  5. by   Thunderwolf
    I have to second Gwenith and Elkpark on this. Advocating any sort of violence, regardless if perceived as deserved or not, has no place on this board. As professionals, we are bound by professional ethics. This board embraces those ethics. For members who embrace ethics other than this, in this case violence/violent acts towards others, it is best said now that those views will not be tolerated on this board. Members who post such material risk their posts being removed, the member being placed on moderation, and/or the member being possibly banned. This board is governed by principles set forth in our TOS. We as members are bound by them. I suggest members review their content after viewing what has been posted recently.

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