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ARNPs United of Washington State

CONTACT YOUR STATE SENATOR REGARDING THE DUTY TO WARN

Posted over 1 year ago by Nancy Lawton

We need your help on duty to warn 

The recent Washington State Supreme Court ruling in Volk v DeMeerleer abandoned the longtime standard for when a provider has a duty to warn potential victims and law enforcement of a dangerous patient's inclination to cause harm. The previous standard required a warning be made when there was an actual threat of physical violence against an identifiable victim or victims. With the ruling, the court determined the question of whether the warning was adequately made is based on whether the provider should have foreseen the patient’s actions. This ruling created ambiguity for providers and made it impossible for them to know when they have met their obligations.  

Senate Bill 5800 will clarify that mental health providers have a duty to warn potential victims and law enforcement when a patient makes an actual threat of physical violence against the reasonably identifiable victim or victims.  

The bill is currently in the Senate Rules Committee, and we need your help contacting legislators to ensure that this bill advances to a reading before the full Senate.  

CONTACT YOUR STATE SENATOR TODAY AND ASK THEM TO MOVE SENATE BILL 5800 FROM THE RULES COMMITTEE TO THE SENATE FLOOR FOR A VOTE AND TELL THEM YOU SUPPORT SB 5800.

If you need help identifying your state Senator, contact nelawton1@gmail.com