In Tarasoff v. Regents of the University of California, the California Supreme Court held that mental health professionals owe a duty to warn or protect third parties of threats made by individuals they serve. Over the past 45 years, courts and legislatures across the country have adopted rules recognizing similar duties in most of the United States. This includes the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Emerich v. Philadelphia Center for Human Development in 1998. In July of 2020, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision in Maas v. UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside significantly modified the boundaries of this duty. This training describes the history of mental health professionals' duty to warn, analyzes the factors that courts consider in reaching decisions on "duty to warn" cases, and highlights important considerations for mental health professionals in responding to the new rule articulated in Maas.
- Describe the history of mental health professionals' duty to warn in the United States and in Pennsylvania specifically.
- Describe the legal and factual principles underlying court decisions on duty to warn.
- Develop a plan for clinical policy and practice in light of Maas, including communication with legal counsel.
Participants must attend entire session, participate in all activities, and submit an evaluation within 7 days of training to receive credits and a certificate. All CEU certificates will be emailed to participants within 30 business days of training. Certificates of Attendance will be available to download from the Learning Hub once the evaluation is successfully submitted.