Legal Advisor: Patient Suicidal Ideation: A Physician’s Legal Duties and Options

CME : 1
Start Date :  Mar 07, 2019End Date :  Mar 07, 2022

Organized by :   Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS)

Specialties :   Psychiatry

FeesText-Based CME ( Starting From Free )

Conference Summary

Legal Advisor: Patient Suicidal Ideation: A Physician’s Legal Duties and Options is organized by Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) and will be held from Mar 07, 2019 - Mar 07, 2022. 

AMA Credit Designation Statement:

The Massachusetts Medical Society designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

This activity meets the criteria for the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine for risk management study.

National Commission on Certification of Physicians Assistant (NCCPA):
Physician Assistants may claim a maximum of 1.00 Category 1 credit for completing this activity. NCCPA accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ from organizations accredited by ACCME or a recognized state medical society. 

patients’ risk for suicide could be detected and care steps taken to save lives. While short-term suicide risk prediction is not possible, preventive care steps have been outlined as recommended practice by the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention as well as by The Joint Commissions (SEA 56).

More often than not, legal claims in the medical malpractice world deal with alleged failures to diagnose or properly treat a type of physical condition. However, physicians are often posed with dealing with a patient's mental health just as frequently as a patient's hypertension or cardiac issues.

Patients presenting with suicide risk may have psychiatric conditions that have been identified or documented by the health system or they may not. How should physicians handle statements made by patients regarding suicide? What are the liability concerns if a physician does not take the proper steps to prevent a suicide risk from becoming a reality? What if a physician takes a statement too seriously and breaches confidentiality? Is there harm from overutilizing psychiatric hospitalization.

• Describe the recommended steps and limitations of assessing a patient’s risk for suicide.
• Explain why short-term prediction of the risk for suicide attempt or death is not possible with current state of science and why prevention steps are still effective and important to take.
• Restate why it is imperative to thoroughly document key relevant information pertaining to suicide risk assessment and steps taken.
• Consider options for clinical treatment planning, including when to hospitalize, when to refer to specialty care, and the preventive value of simply enhancing follow-up contact or communication.
• Discern whether disclosure of a patient’s suicide risk to a third party is a violation of confidentiality.
• Determine how to respond to a patient’s disclosure of suicidal thoughts or other indications of suicide risk in ways that help the patient and may increase the odds of the provider prevailing in any future malpractice litigation.

Additional details will be posted as soon as they are available.

✔Risk Assessment
  Risk Assessment
✔Suicide Assessment & Prevention
  Suicide Assessment & Prevention
Credit Info

  • CME : 1
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