Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums

Ethics - disclosure of patient crimes


neoteny

Recommended Posts

If a patient comes to you and discloses a severe crime that they have committed in the recent past (ie. a murder), are you (as a doctor) obliged to inform the legal authorities, or is this a privileged disclosure that must be respected by the doctor?

 

I know that the doctor must inform the authorities if the patient discloses something that may cause imminent harm to others in the future, but how does it work if harm has already been caused?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If a patient comes to you and discloses a severe crime that they have committed in the recent past (ie. a murder), are you (as a doctor) obliged to inform the legal authorities, or is this a privileged disclosure that must be respected by the doctor?

 

I know that the doctor must inform the authorities if the patient discloses something that may cause imminent harm to others in the future, but how does it work if harm has already been caused?

 

 

If you suspect harm is likely to himself or others and that he is still a danger (or that there is ongoing criminal activity, such as abusing his children), you are obliged to inform authorities, but you cannot divulge separate past criminal incidents if you feel there is no potential for future harm.

 

If he is asking your advice on what to do regarding these acts, and the patient is expressing guilt about past crimes, you may counsel him on his options to turn himself in/make amends and the consequences of doing so (but make sure you don't cross the line between advice and coercion, free and informed consent still applies).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Who's Online   0 Members, 0 Anonymous, 37 Guests (See full list)

    • There are no registered users currently online
×
×
  • Create New...