A Duty to Warn, an Uncertain Danger
Reamer, Frederic G.
Schaffer, Sylvan J.
Hastings Center Report. 1985 Feb; 15(1): 17-19.
A case study is presented in which a maternity patient with a history of schizophrenia and pyromania informs a hospital social worker that she and her infant will live temporarily with a clergyman and his family. The social worker, aware of the patient's history and concerned for the family, asks the patient for permission to discuss her problems with the clergyman, but is refused. Reamer argues that the social worker has a duty to warn, should disclose no more information than is necessary, and should seek authorization from a hospital review committee. Schaffer maintains that the legal duty to warn established by
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