Professional liability cases, Other Subject

Ronald Knee, an undergraduate student at the University of Excelsior, while receiving therapy from Dr. Ernest Grabbit, made threats against an unnamed classmate, who was identifiable as Doris Bonkers.

Dr Grabbit then took steps to have Ronald Knee placed under observation at the Gicang Psychiatric Hospital and notified Excelsiors' campus Security personnel . Knee then gave a written undertaking to the campus security that he would stay away from Doris Bonkers and was subsequently released.

Knee later escalated the wall to Bonkers' flat at the campus and killed her. Dr Bart Powers, Dr Grabbit's superior, then ordered Dr Grabbit to destroy all records and correspondence on the therapy and finally ordered" no action" on the decision to place Knee under psychiatric observation.

Bonkers' parents sued Dr Grabbit, the Excelsior campus Security and the University of Excelsior. They won the case on the basis of a duty of care owed to the victim to warn her of any threats, especially where there was a foreseeable danger. The court decided that the disclosure to avert danger should have taken precedence over the confidential character of patient-counsellor relationship.

(a) From the case study above, what areas or points of conflict can you identify concerning the roles and responsibilities of therapists and the law?

(b) What possible remedies would you suggest to avoid Counsellors getting mired in professional liability cases?

(c) How would you as a Counsellor have reacted to Dr Powers' orders if you were Dr Grabbit and why?

Posted Date: 10/25/2013 2:53:44 AM | Location : United States

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