Year: 1983 Source: Psychotherapy Theory, Research and Practice, v.20, no.3, (Fall 1983), p.274-280 SIEC No: 19861325

The suicide of a patient is one of the most difficult events that a psychotherapist will ever experience. In addition to the emotional turmoil, a psychotherapist may encounter legal complications because patient suicides are potentially the basis of a malpractice suit. This article explores the malpractice risks when treating suicidal patients in in- and outpatient settings. The legal principles of abandonment and duty to warn are reviewed and related to suicide.