The duty to warn and protect--impact on practice

Can J Psychiatry. 2000 Dec;45(10):899-904. doi: 10.1177/070674370004501004.


Objective: To discuss the concepts of the duty to protect and the associated threat to confidentiality and their impact on practice for Canadian psychiatrists.

Method: We review these concepts and provide a synthesis of legal cases impacting psychiatric practice.

Conclusion: The onus is on the psychiatrist to make him or herself aware of the current state of the legal obligation with respect to duty to protect. The evolving concept of duty to protect has and will continue to have significant impact on the practice of psychiatry.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Canada
  • Confidentiality / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Duty to Warn*
  • Humans
  • Psychiatry / legislation & jurisprudence*