The Bree Collaborative is seeking public comment on its draft recommendations for managing patients who may be at risk of violence to others. Public comments will be accepted until Dec. 27, 2019. The Bree invites people to review the draft and participate in a brief survey, available online. People may also contact Ginny Weir, Director of the Bree Collaborative, directly at GWeir@qualityhealth.org or 206-204-7377.
The Risk of Violence to Others recommendations were prepared at the direction of the legislature, in response to concerns about the scope of health care professionals’ duty to warn or protect third parties from potentially violent patients following the 2016 Washington State Supreme Court decision, Volk v. DeMeerleer. Under that decision, providers have a duty to warn or protect any “foreseeable” victims, even if no specific individual was identified. The ruling created several ambiguities with significant clinical implications, such as how to reconcile providers’ duty of confidentiality to their patients with their expanded duty to protect third parties. The Bree’s recommendations attempt to address these ambiguities in a clinical context while also recommending that the legislature fix the issues the court decision created.
WSHA has been a strong advocate in favor of legislative attention on this issue and we encourage members to review the recommendations and provide feedback.