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Legal and Ethical Issues in Mental Health

Mental health professionals face a daunting task of conducting their work with a myriad of legal and ethical issues affecting both clinical and professional decisions. Professional organizations routinely publish results of hearings in which members are disciplined for failing to properly implement mental health law. At the far extreme are those who face legal consequences as a result of their actions. This one day seminar will highlight four specific areas which cause the greatest confusion and generate the highest risk: Suicide Risk Assessment and Malpractice Avoidance, Trends in Mental Health Malpractice: A Tale of Sex and Violence, Confidentiality and Privilege, and the Duty to Protect Others. Legal aspects will be presented with regard to the states where the seminar attendees practice. This program is essential for mental health professionals to improve their understanding of the legal and ethical issues that are so critical to performing at the standard of practice.

Workshop Content

Suicide Risk Assessment and Malpractice Avoidance
Trends in Mental Health Malpractice: A Tale of Sex and Violence
Confidentiality and Privilege
The Duty to Protect Others

Workshop Objectives

Improve assessment skills for suicide risk
Understand liability for completed suicide as well as liability prevention strategies
Describe basic concepts in the law of negligence
Understand the most common causes of action for mental health malpractice
Identify techniques to reduce risk of malpractice
Describe the difference between confidentiality and privilege
List those situations that require a breach of confidentiality
Know when there is a duty to protect intended victim(s) from the violence of a client
Identify the legal requirements when protecting a possible victim

Presented by

Phillip Resnick, M.D.
Phillip  Resnick, M.D.Phillip J. Resnick is an internationally known forensic psychiatrist noted for his expertise in the assessment of violence risk and the detection of malingered mental illness.  He is a Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Division of Forensic Psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio.  He is a past president of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law.  He has provided consultation in many high profile cases including:  Jeffrey Dahmer, Susan Smith, Timothy McVey, Andrea Yates, Scott Petersen, Brian Mitchell (kidnapper of Elizabeth Smart), Theodore Kaczynski (Unabomber) and Casey Anthony.  He has written over 180 professional journal articles and book chapters.  Dr. Resnick contributed two chapters to Clinical Assessment of Malingering and Deception.  He received the Isaac Ray Award from the American Psychiatric Association for outstanding contributions to forensic psychiatry and psychiatric aspects of jurisprudence. He has lectured in 49 states and 23 countries. Dr. Resnick’s presentations are well organized, humorous, fast moving, and packed with vital information.