Mental health experts say a new tougher New York state gun control law might interfere with treatment of potentially dangerous people and even discourage them from seeking help.

The law would require therapists, doctors, nurses and social workers to tell government authorities if they believe a patient is likely to harm himself or others. That could lead to revoking the patient's gun permit and seizing any guns. (source)

New laws tend to have unintended consequences worse than the conditions or situations they are intended to remedy. The hysteria over the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre has such strange bedfellows as the NRA and some of the most liberal Democrats calling for psychological or psychiatric evaluations of potential gun owners. 

Question: Does the state have enough of an interest to require a breach of the privacy normally holding between a patient and his clinician making the state an invisible presence in the conference room?

Question: Might more mayhem be prevented by letting clinicians do their job rather than imposing requirements on them.?

Question: Might imposing a reporting requirement on clinicians expose them to homicidal danger once the client realizes that his counselor has breached the shell of confidentiality holding between them?

Question: Given the ambiguities holding between what clients talk about and what they might actually do might a reporting requirement expose clinicians to needless criminal and civil sanctions if their best guess turns out to be wrong and a client they thought safe did something horrendous? The point is, it's a lot easier to judge how dangerous a patient was in retrospect and hold a clinician responsible.

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Of course, maybe if you can't get the deer on the first shot, the deer won the exchange.

But...but...but what if the deer has an evil AR 15 with a 30 round mag. :)

I'd be just as worried about a deer with a slingshot.  It would call into question everything we think we know about deer.

Who is calling for psychological evaluations in order to own a gun?  That's news to me.  It seems a bit overboard, but now a days the private sector makes potential employees undergo a personality test to apply to half of the minimum wage jobs out there. 

In Kentucky it is already required that psychologists to notify the authorities and call for hospitalization if a client is a danger to themselves of others.  We don't have problems with criminal/civil sanctions if a violent client doesn't get flagged by the system before they commit a crime... at least, I've never heard one case of that occurring.  It would be quite a scandal, I would think.  I would say that the state does have enough "interest to require a breach of the privacy normally holding between a patient and his clinician" because citizens lives are on the line.  This system we have now has potentially saved the life of one of my dearest family members and has probably done the same for countless others.  I am grateful my family member is still alive!  And yes, there is an awareness of the presence of "the state" in the "conference room."  That may keep some people from disclosing, but for those who have developed a trusting theraputic relationship, it is understood that the therapist will be acting in the client's best interests (preventing them from becoming a murderer or killing themselves) with the goal of eliminating the client's problematic tendencies/thoughts. 

Unseen, do you really care about the treatment of the mentally ill, because it's not been something you seemed particullarly passionate about in the past (correct me if I'm wrong, maybe I missed that post).  Are you more worried someone is going to take away your gun?

Kairan, what I care about is the arguments people use. Clarifying them. The dialectic of discussion hopefully clarifies our thoughts and leads us to better conclusions. I'm a devil's advocate in almost every discussion confronting people with contrary views.

Monty Python was very formative in my life.

Didn't realize the devil's advocate was a member of the NRA.

I don't own a gun or want one. Certainly not a member of the NRA. I'm just a critic of gun control logic.

I'm not a hunter, not a organized sport shooter, not a LEO.

I do own guns, carry one everyday, shoot targets a lot.

And yes, I am a member of the NRA and the GOA (that doesn't mean I set their policies).

I am against Big Government control and their continuing assault on my rights and liberty.

Those who are for Gun Control are also for having a government that violates the Bill of Rights (their Rights), which undermines their own freedom and liberty (a very dangerous position to take).

I am against school, movie, mall, etc. shootings, I am intelligent enough to know corollary conditions do not represent cause.

Shallow answers and band-aid approaches will never get to the cause or achieve a solution to deep societal problems.

Slavery has not been thought wrong by all people in all times. It depends upon time and place and the attitudes current there. In ancient Greece, Socrates aside, slavery was often an act of mercy. Taking a soldier as a slave rather than killing him saved his life. Such slaves were apparently often grateful for being spared and became loyal servants, beloved by the families they served. They were sometimes freed. 

In the case of the old South, enslaved blacks were not thought of as persons but as beasts of burden, which is a matter of definition. Today we live in a world where all humans are regarded as persons (or at least that is the prevailing view) and I'm happy to live in that world.

However, some people here define animals as, in effect, persons although they draw short of applying that particular terminology to them.

You didn't really address my assertion that just by looking at history it's obvious that ethical propositions have a time and place attached to them, and thus have no eternality or objectivity attached to them. Slavery meets certain definitions current today, but that isn't true of how people thought in all times and all places. 

That a blastocyst is not a person is a proposed definition, not a fact. What a blastocyst is is a biological fact. When it becomes a person is up for definition. Both sides in the abortion issue "argue" by asserting conflicting definitions. As in all ethical disputes, the de facto winner will be the side which can muster the most power, which comes down to how many people's attitudes they can count on.

Me: 'Wrong' refers to the unfair, injurious, unjust, incongruous, inaccurate or dishonest. Slavery in the old south was demonstrably unfair, injurious, and unjust, and was defended using incongruous, inaccurate and dishonest arguments. Therefore slavery in the old south was wrong. That's a fact.

That's a definition we would agree to today. Can you say it's a definition that was universal in 800 BC or will be so 800 years in the future? No. The only fact there is an accurate description of the word as it's used now. It's not a fact like "all metals expand when heated" or "when matter is compressed it gets warmer." We don't even need arguments when it comes to facts. Facts are evidence of themselves.

Ethical "facts" are actually attitudes bound by time and place, not real facts controlled by the laws of physics or the certainty of mathematics and/or logic.

We do not decide reality by democratic vote. If one definition is based on reality and the other is based on nonsense, then the former is right and the latter is wrong. You specifically said: "Disputes over ethics are clashes over attitudes, not disputes as to facts." That these crackpots cite supernatural ethics as backing to alter reality is very much a dispute as to the facts.

There are non-crackpots on both sides of the abortion issue. It can't be settled because both sides have some arguments which are persuasive some people and some which seem nonsensical to others, but whether we find them persuasive or nonsensical has everything to do with our attitudes. In other words, it's all bound up with our views on feminism, politics, our sentiments regarding children, and a lot of other things (including religion in many cases). Real world "facts" are bandied about but only in support of our attitudes. There is no syllogism with facts as premises which would lead to a deterministic conclusion regarding the ethics of abortion. The fact that its not a settled issue is evidence of that.

If you have some way to bring your position on abortion to a dead certainty like "water will boil at 212F at sea level," you must be God, because that would truly be a miracle. If it could be done, everyone would know it except for a few who we'd put in mental institutions based on their inability to accept reality.

But that's not going to happen. 

BTW, I simply don't have the time to reply point by point to bedsheet posts. If you break them up into short replies and spread them out over time, I might be able to answer all your points. However, I can't let my life revolve around AT. I do have a life in the non-virtual world.

So what was the definition of 'wrong' in the old south? How does it differ from the definition of 'wrong' today? Answer the question, Unseen. 'Wrong' means 'unfair, injurious, unjust, incongruous, inaccurate, or dishonest'. If it didn't mean that in the old south, then what did it mean?

The word "wrong" was USED differently then. It wasn't applied to those they regarded as nonhuman, such as slaves.

That was another dodge, Unseen. We are talking about a blastocyst. You desperately keep trying to change the subject but I won't let you. A blastocyst is not a human being. That's a fact. It doesn't suddenly cease to become a fact when some crackpot says he disputes it.

There's no desperation. What kind of blastocyst is it? It's a homo sapiens blastocyst, isn't it? Unless blastocysts don't have characteristics (such as DNA) which are unique to each species. It's an early stage in the development of a human being. It seems to me there are only two choices, it's a stage in human development that goes right back to the fertilized egg or else it magically changes into a human being, which would seem to require a magician. Yahweh?

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