Saturday, May 24, 2014

Was the Santa Barbara Shooting a Tarasoff mandate failure?

Written by Mark Allison 

Tarasoff ruling states that a psychotherapist has a duty to protect or warn a reasonably identifiable third party (victim) if the therapist has reasonable suspicion that the patient poses a serious risk of inflicting serious bodily injury to the victim.  According to numerous news reports, Elliot Rodger discussed plans to inflict harm onto his fellow students at University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) campus through a series of YouTube video postings weeks before he actually executed his plans.  At the time of these videos it has been stated that Rodger was under the care of a social worker (psychotherapist).  If Rodger had discussed any of what he posted publicly with his therapist, would this be enough information to trigger a Tarasoff warning?

Would love to hear comments and opinions from readers and colleagues regarding Tarasoff and this case. 

Suspected shooter, Elliot Rodger from Friday's YouTube
video he posted hours before the attack.

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