In 1976, the Supreme Court of California ruled on a case that became precedent for many “duty to warn” state statutes.
Prosenjit Poddar was a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley. He dated for a time a young woman named Tatiana Tarasoff. It was later established that Ms. Tarasoff may not have felt as serious about the relationship as Mr. Poddar did. Mr. Poddar is reported to have then sought assistance with some feelings of depression at the University Health Service with a Dr. Moore. During the course of therapy, Mr. Poddar conveyed to Dr. Moore that he intended to obtain a gun and shoot Ms. Tarasoff.
Dr. Moore sent a letter to the University of California-Berkeley police requesting that Mr. Poddar be detained and screened for psychiatric inpatient hospital admission. The police were reported to have interviewed Mr. Poddar and to have determined that he was not dangerous.
Some time later, Ms. Tarasoff returned from a visit out of the country, at which time Mr. Poddar was reported to have stalked and killed her.
The Supreme Court of California later ruled that Dr. Moore had a duty to warn the potentially endangered Ms. Tarasoff, which took legal precedence over the legal issues of therapist/client privilege and the ethic of therapist/client confidentiality.
Locate an additional reference regarding Tarasoff v. The Regents of the University of California, and address the following questions:
1. What would be minimally required for an appropriate assessment today in reference to the above case?
2. What specific information/data would be minimally acceptable for a thorough assessment in this case?
3. What would an evaluator need to know regarding issues about Mr. Poddar’s competence to stand trial for this offense?
4. What would an evaluator need to know regarding issues about Mr. Poddar’s sanity/insanity at the time of the offense?