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Can J Psychiatry. 1986 Nov;31(8):772-80.

Legal issues in medical management of violent and threatening patients.


The responsibility of professionals in the medical management of violent and threatening patients is discussed using the Tarasoff case (American) and the Lawson case (Canadian) as landmark cases influencing subsequent jurisprudence. It is becoming increasingly important to be aware of the court's interpretations in such areas as confidentiality, predictions regarding dangerousness, the duty to warn, and the legal duty to strangers to the therapist/patient relationship. A number of other issues relating to the risks involved in management of patients potentially dangerous as a result of the use of drugs are also discussed.

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