The Duty to Protect: Ethical, Legal, and Professional Considerations

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CE Credit: 4

Length: 4 hours

Exam Items: 5

Duty-to-protect situations are among the most stressful clinical events. These already difficult situations are complicated when the professional/trainee is laboring under misunderstandings about her or his ethical and legal obligations and when the clinician/trainee does not know how to respond when a potential duty arises. This intermediate workshop is designed to help when the duty to protect may arise and is based on a current and thorough review of the ethical, legal and clinical landscape related to these issues.

Learning Objective 1
Define the duty to protect and differentiate it from the duty to warn. 

Learning Objective 2
Summarize the content of the APA Ethics Code regarding the duty to protect. 
Learning Objective 3
Identify the primary legal issues involved in determining whether the duty to protect applies. 

Learning Objective 4
Identify at least three situations (in addition to the standard case of possible suicide or homicide) when the duty to protect may arise.

Presenter: James L. Werth, Jr., PhD

Supplementary Materials

  • Handout of slides
  • Supplemental handout