Duty to Warn [2 of 2]
In 1976, the Supreme Court of California ruled on a case that became precedent for many “duty
to warn” state statutes.
Prasenjit 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 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.
Sometime 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?
Purchase answer to see full attachment