Genetic Risk: The New Frontier for the Duty to Warn
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Mental health professionals usually think of the “duty to warn” in the context of mental illness. However, two state appellate courts have endorsed a duty to warn when children of a patient may be at risk genetically for acquiring the disease of their parents. In these cases, the courts held that a physician's legal obligations extended beyond his or her patient to the patient's children. This article discusses these cases, as well as issues regarding implementation of such a duty and the implications for the physician–patient relationship in a health care environment that will be dominated increasingly by genetics issues. The article concludes that it is premature to apply a duty to warn to the treatment of mental illness and to concerns regarding future criminal behavior.
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Citation / Publisher Attribution
Behavioral Sciences & the Law, v. 19, issue 3, p. 405-421
Scholar Commons Citation
Petrila, John, "Genetic Risk: The New Frontier for the Duty to Warn" (2001). Mental Health Law & Policy Faculty Publications. 156.