Evidence: No "Dangerous Patient" Exception to Federal Psychotherapist/Patient Testimonial Privilege-United States V. Hayes

By Olender, Catherine | American Journal of Law & Medicine, January 1, 2000 | Go to article overview

Evidence: No "Dangerous Patient" Exception to Federal Psychotherapist/Patient Testimonial Privilege-United States V. Hayes


Olender, Catherine, American Journal of Law & Medicine


Evidence: No "Dangerous Patient" Exception to Federal Psychotherapist/Patient Testimonial Privilege-United States v. Hayes1-The Sixth Circuit held there is no "dangerous patient" exception to the federal psychotherapist/patient testimonial privilege under Rule 501 of the Federal Rules of Evidence.2 Appellant, the United States, sought to prosecute respondent Roy Lee Hayes under 18 U.S.C. secs 1153 for making threats during several psychotherapy sessions to murder his supervisor at the United States Postal Service.4 Hayes moved to suppress his medical records and therapist's testimony on the grounds that the records and testimony were privileged.5

In Jaffe v. Redmond,6 the Supreme Court recognized the psychotherapist/patient evidentiary privilege, holding that "confidential communications between a licensed psychotherapist and her patients in the course of diagnosis or treatment are protected from compelled disclosure under Rule 501 of the Federal Rules of Evidence."7 Jaffe included a footnote, which read: "[W]e do not doubt that there are situations in which the privilege must give way, for example, if a serious threat of harm to the patient or to others can be averted only by means of a disclosure by the therapist."8 In United States v. Glass,9 the Tenth Circuit interpreted this footnote to create an exception to the privilege when the threat is seriously made and disclosure is literally the only means of averting harm. 10

In declining to follow Glass, the Hayes court focused on the issue of whether the degree of care exercised by a psychotherapist is relevant to the patient's right to assert the psychotherapist/patient privilege.11 Though the court acknowledged the psychotherapist has a "duty to protect" third parties from a patient's serious threats, it stated that such a duty bears only a "marginal" connection, "if any at all" to the court's "refusal to permit the therapist to testify about such threat in a later prosecution of the patient for making the threat."12

The court next considered whether policy concerns support the adoption of the "dangerous patient" exception.13 It stated that "reason and experience" support rejecting this exception.13 First, the court stated that such an exception would negatively effect the "atmosphere of confidence and trust" in the psychotherapist/patient relationship.14 Second, the court stated that although allowing a psychotherapist to testify against his or her patient in a criminal prosecution about statements made for treatment purposes may serve a public end, this end does not justify the means. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Evidence: No "Dangerous Patient" Exception to Federal Psychotherapist/Patient Testimonial Privilege-United States V. Hayes
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.