Forensic multidisciplinary perspectives of Tarasoff liability: a vignette study

Mason, Tom; Worsley, Aidan and Coyle, David (2010). Forensic multidisciplinary perspectives of Tarasoff liability: a vignette study. Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology, 21(4) pp. 549–554.



This study reports on 40 completed vignettes of the Tarasoff liability with 10 from each of the disciplines of psychiatry, psychology, social work and nursing. The sample was forensic practitioners in the North West of England. The data were analysed for their content on several key words and terms that related to the Tarasoff case and each disciplines major zones of relevance in relation to the decisions required at each point in the unfolding scenario. The results showed a similarity of issues across the disciplines in relation to confidentiality, assessment and informing for the duty to protect. However, differences occurred in relation to the focus of that informing as a means of abrogating responsibility in the nursing discipline whilst the other groups accepted their responsibilities in relation to informing to protect the potential victim.

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