Do psychiatrists have duty to warn authorities of threats?
Peter Johnson, Jr. weighs in
- Duration 3:39
- Date Jul 27, 2012
Peter Johnson, Jr. weighs in
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Well there are just.
-- massacre suspect Fox News learns that James home sent a University of Colorado psychiatrist in notebook.
Previewing his attack some say but it sat unopened in the mail room.
One victim is now suing the alleged -- position for failing to warn the victims but does a psychiatrist.
Other accused mass murderer having legal obligation to turn him at Fox News legal analyst Peter Dawson junior is a morning or good morning so -- if James Holmes had a therapist and if he ever said anything disturbing to a therapist is there a legal duty to alert authorities yes we don't know specifically if he -- on the the therapist.
This notebook was allegedly sick.
But if he did see that person as a therapist and he made his specific threat about a specific person.
That's psychiatrist that mental health provider under the law in the state of -- Colorado had an obligation under the law to do two things.
Call the police.
Actually warned that person or people who with the subject.
Of that credible specific threat.
Made by the patient but this is complicated -- literally that it -- you say via the provision in the doctor patient -- so what if what if an alleged shooter says something like.
Sometimes I feel like killing people not specific enough but it may -- -- -- what's called 72.
Where the doctor signs a piece of paper on his own or some.
Licensed mental health provider -- I want this patient committed to a hospital for evaluation and -- treatment.
For 72 hours it can go on longer into another sixty days into another -- -- days.
Under civil court order so a doctor in the state of Colorado has a lot of options in terms of putting that person.
Oh wait for evaluation and or treatment and Colorado has more stringent rules and -- that there are some states that the -- the law is not as clear it doesn't mandated Colorado happens to be.
The state that -- -- -- Such reporting it's the tension between the patient privilege.
And the right to know of the public or individual persons you know between ten to 20% of people that -- -- psychiatric emergency rooms.
Talk about homicidal.
-- specific homicidal threats and so more and more psychiatrists are actually getting on the phone with specific people.
And our institutions to say I -- a patient he's indicated.
A threat on your life.
We don't know more about we don't suspects psychiatric history in part because the judge has imposed.
A gag order is that customary it is customary and there's a lot of questions here based on leaks that are coming out of the jailhouse.
Was he speeding at the guards is you know saying that he had amnesia.
The act or the real.
At the the -- the other day is that.
Real or is that state.
Did he send this on purpose in order to shift liability under someone else and prove that he was a psychiatric case whether he was or he wasn't.
These answers will come out over time but we do know -- Colorado that if a psychiatrist middle.
That he was going to be engaging in this movie massacre.
He had to violate his privilege.
Tell the people who may be the victims and alert the police we don't know yet but these are important questions in all fifty states.
Based upon what we've seen in terms these mass killing absolutely and yeah prevent them from ever happening -- this Peter Johnson junior thanks so wonderful weekend it's okay.