His medical condition forced him to give up his own apartment and move in with his divorced father, who had plans to marry again, this time a woman with two children, none of whom Sam liked. D., Sam discussed his sadness about his mortality, unhappiness about the impending living situation, and resulting thoughts about suicide. In this case, the therapist made efforts to assist the survivor of a family member’s suicide to cope.Despite excellent clinical care and suicide precautions, Sam killed himself without reporting increased suicidal ideation or giving a hint of warning to anyone. The father readily understood and had known about these issues through discussions with his son over the prior months.In the words of Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, citing the amicus briefs of the American Psychological and Psychiatric Associations: Effective psychotherapy…depends upon an atmosphere of confidence and trust in which the patient is willing to make a frank and complete disclosure of facts, emotions, memories, and fears.Because of the sensitive nature of the problems for which individuals consult psychotherapists, disclosure of confidential communications made during counseling sessions may cause embarrassment or disgrace.American history provides ample public examples of how breaches in confidentiality of mental health data have had major implications for both the clients and society. Fielding, better known as “Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist,” certainly did not suspect that the break-in at his office by F. Disclosures of confidential information received by therapists also played prominently in the press during the well-publicized murder trials of the Menendez brothers (Scott, 2005) and O. Subsequently, that same therapist drew disciplinary sanctions from the California licensing board because of that confidentiality violation.Thomas Eagleton, a United States Senator from Missouri, was dropped as George Mc Govern's vice presidential running mate in 1968 when it was disclosed that he had previously been hospitalized for the treatment of depression (Post, 2004). Should a mental health professional’s duty of confidentiality end when a client dies? Case 1: After the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman (see: Hunt, 1999) Susan J. The California Board of Behavioral Science Examiners subsequently barred Ms.
In his mid-20s, Sam no longer had enough energy or financial resources to live independently, although his illness did not seem likely to prove fatal for at least two to three more years. Muted discussed Sam’s frustration with his terminal illness and inability to continue living independently, knowing that the father understood those issues well. Muted never disclosed Sam’s distress about the father’s planned remarriage or unhappiness with the soon-to-be blended family situation.The case quickly reached the Supreme Court, which deemed communications between a client and a lawyer protected by attorney-client privilege even after the client's death by a 6 to 3 vote. In some circumstances, courts may order opening a deceased person’s mental health records.The majority opinion written by Chief Justice Rehnquist noted that, “A great body of case law and weighty reasons support the position that attorney-client privilege survives a client's death, even in connection with criminal cases” (Swidler & Berlin and James Hamilton v. Case 3: Author Diane Middlebrook set out to write a biography of then-deceased Pulitzer Prize winning poet Anne Sexton with the permission of Sexton’s family (Middlebrook, 1991). Examples might include assisting an inquest seeking to rule on suicide as a cause of death or to determine the competence of a person to make a will should heirs dispute the document at probate.A draft of a resignation letter, torn into 27 pieces, lay in his briefcase.Part of the note read, "I was not meant for the job or the spotlight of public life in Washington.