ERIC Number: ED403508
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993
Reference Count: N/A
The Danger-to-Self-or-Others Exception to Confidentiality. ACA Legal Series, Volume 8.
Ahia, C. Emmanuel; Martin, Dan
A counselor's obligation to safeguard information shared in counseling has clinical, ethical, and legal implications. This volume focuses on the duty-to-warn exception in client confidentiality. It provides general ethical and legal guidelines and, where possible, specific information to help the practitioner make good choices. It is intended for mental health practitioners, including clinicians, students, and counselor educators. The book opens with a brief discussion of confidentiality and privileged communication and then addresses the history and parameters of the duty-to-warn exception. Some of the topics covered here are the concept of dangerousness, danger to others, and danger to self. The need for clients to be made fully aware of the meaning of confidentiality is emphasized, with possible exceptions addressed. Confidentiality may be waived, but the waiver must be knowing and voluntary. The special needs of minors and incompetents with respect to the waiver of confidentiality must also be understood by counselors. It is noted that one important exception to confidentiality occurs when a client poses an imminent threat of harm to self or others. In such cases, the counselor may have a duty to breach confidentiality for the protection of the client and the community. (Contains 52 suggested readings and 18 references.) (RJM)
Descriptors: Civil Law, Codes of Ethics, Confidential Records, Confidentiality, Counseling, Counselor Client Relationship, Counselors, Disclosure, Ethics, Freedom of Information, Laws, Privacy
American Counseling Association, 5999 Stevenson Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22304-3300 (Order Number 72308, $12.95).
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Counselors; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: American Counseling Association, Alexandria, VA.
Identifiers: Ethical Communication