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Duty to warn

Duty to warn - where is the line with this law?

What i've read so far pertains to psych unit and if a person threatens to harm another. But what if you know of a person with a disease such as HIV/AIDS, and this person is putting others at risk w/o them knowing they are putting themselves at risk for this disease. Does HIPPA override the Duty to warn? :banghead:

Aneroo, LPN

Specializes in Cath Lab, OR, CPHN/SN, ER.

Duty to warn - where is the line with this law?

What i've read so far pertains to psych unit and if a person threatens to harm another. But what if you know of a person with a disease such as HIV/AIDS, and this person is putting others at risk w/o them knowing they are putting themselves at risk for this disease. Does HIPPA override the Duty to warn? :banghead:

Public health get involved in HIV and most TB cases. Public health is unique in that legal area, since we can do more (have more authority). In NC at least, if someone is not taking their TB meds as prescribed, they either get a TB nurse at their house daily to watch them take the meds, or they go to jail or the medical ward at one of the state mental facilties. If someone is knowingly having unprotected sex with people when they are infected with HIV, they can also face legal ramifications.

Public health- the good of the community outweighs the good of the individual!

Ex (heard at my new public health nurse orientation)- a man had to leave him home. He refused to take his meds for his active TB, and his wife ran an in home daycare. The needs of the community outweighed his needs as an individual.

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