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Tarasoff, duty to warn laws, and suicide

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  • Edwards, Griffin
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    Abstract

    Confidentiality has long been considered a necessary provision of effective mental health treatment. State mandated breaches of confidentiality required of psychologists when a patient makes a credible threat to the life of another have, many argue, compromised the entire administration of mental health services. In this context, there are two possible effects through which these laws could affect mental health services. The first is an effect that directly changes how mental health professionals and patients interact spawning from a credible threat of reporting. The second is an indirect effect that could arise in the general delivery of mental health services. Using teen suicides as a measure of the direct effect, and adult suicides as the indirect effect, I estimate the impact of these laws on mental health services and find that states with these laws experience an increase in teen suicides of about 9% but that no such effect exists among adult suicides.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Review of Law and Economics.

    Volume (Year): 34 (2013)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 1-8

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:34:y:2013:i:c:p:1-8

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/irle

    Related research

    Keywords: Tarasoff; Mental Health Policy; Suicide;

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    1. Wolfers, Justin, 2003. "Did Unilateral Divorce Laws Raise Divorce Rates? A Reconciliation and New Results," Research Papers 1819, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    2. Sara Markowitz & Jonathan Klick, . "Are Mental Health Insurance Mandates Effective?: Evidence from Suicides," Working Papers Rutgers University, Newark 2004-003, Department of Economics, Rutgers University, Newark.
    3. ThomasS. Dee, 2008. "Forsaking all others? The effects of same-sex partnership laws on risky sex," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(530), pages 1055-1078, 07.
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