Law Enforcement

Criminal investigators sometimes seek access to mental health care records to identify potential suspects. Therapists are ethically obligated to resist such unauthorized intrusions into patients' psychotherapy notes by every available legal means. Investigations of health care professionals for possible insurance fraud and abuse or violations of state professional codes may also bring law enforcement officers to a therapist's office demanding to see records. Although legal or ethical violations by a therapist cannot be condoned, establishing due legal process and procedural safeguards to protect patients' private information is an indispensable obligation of all parties to such an investigation.

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