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NCJ Number: 158072 Find in a Library
Title: Another Courtroom Assault on the Confidentiality of the Psychotherapist-Patient Relationship
Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences  Volume:40  Issue:5  Dated:(September 1995)  Pages:862-864
Author(s): G B Leong; J A Silva; R Weinstock
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 3
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the implications of a recent ruling by the California Supreme Court in People v. Webb for the confidentiality of psychotherapist-patient communications in nontreatment settings, and particularly privilege in legal settings.
Abstract: In this case, the Court considered the confidentiality of the psychiatric records of an individual who was not a principal party to the legal dispute, but who was called as a prosecution witness. The main psychiatric-legal issue in Webb concerned the witness's competence to testify. The majority opinion of the Court held that the witness's psychiatric records could not be examined by the defendant, but also ruled that the court had not erred by examining the records in camera to determine if they were material to the case. Nonetheless, the actions at the trial level and subsequent review of the Court justices implies that the appearance of fairness and due process can outweigh the psychotherapist-patient privilege of a prosecution witness. 19 references
Main Term(s): Courts
Index Term(s): California; Competency to testify; Confidential records access; Criminology; Legal privacy protection
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