(and Protect Themselves from Legal Liability) when they have a Potentially Violent Patient
- Make an assessment of the patient’s potential for violence. The four important dimensions are: type of harm, seriousness of harm, imminence of harm, likelihood of harm.
- Determine how real the threat is. This is usually based on: the patient’s past history of violence, the patient’s ability to control his impulses, and use of alcohol and drugs.
- Take some appropriate action.
What is appropriate action obviously varies under the circumstances. It can include:
- Changing the patient’s treatment program.
- Requesting that the patient agree to be hospitalized (voluntary commitment).
- Trying to get the authorities to involuntarily commit the patient.
- Warn the potential victim, or warn others who can warn the victim.
- Advise the police with jurisdiction where the victim is or where the patient may be.
Consult with an Experienced Malpractice Attorney
If you believe you or a family member has been seriously injured from medical malpractice, medical error, or neglect by a doctor, hospital, nurse, clinic, nursing home or other health care provider, you may want to click here to contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney for a free evaluation of your case. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 202-742-1500 or 888-625-6635 toll-free. We will respond within 24 hours. There is no charge for our initial consultation.