Which confidentiality issue limits should be discussed with a patient prior to a history and Mental Status Examination (MSE)?

Updated: Sep 24, 2020
  • Author: Jeffrey S Forrest, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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Health care professionals should discuss with the patient what can and cannot be kept confidential based on both legal and ethical considerations. In most cases, patients must give permission to release information and their medical records. The exception to confidentiality is cases of suicidal and homicidal ideations.

With regard to child abuse and abuse of elderly people, Clinicians are mandatory reporters of abuse and must do so if abuse is suspected. The case Tarasoff I (1976) resulted in the "Duty to Warn," as established by the case of Tarasoff versus the Regents of the University of California. Tarasoff II (1982) was the second ruling, expanding Tarasoff I and resulting in the "Duty to Protect."

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