Laws concerning doctor-patient confidentiality?

Discussion in 'Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings' started by ryanglander, Apr 17, 2009.

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  1. ryanglander

    ryanglander Well-Known Member

    I've gotten desperate enough that I'm willing to talk to someone face to face about my suicidal feelings. I'm worried my doctor will be allowed to break confidentiality, or have me institutionalized. What are the laws concerning suicide, and doctors responsibility to patients?

    I tried to kill myself 3 days ago, but as I started too lose conssciousness I stopped the "suicide machine". I still have this "machine" and easy access to a quick painless suicide. Could my doctor respond by breaking confidentiality, or having me institutionalized?

    Thank you, I don't know what I'd do without this forum.
  2. Terry

    Terry Antiquities Friend Staff Alumni

    Not sure where you are, but here in the UK confidentiality is everything.
    As to being institutionalised, yes a doctor can have you sectioned if you are a danger to your self or others; but they can only hold you for a certain amount of time (28 days I believe..but not sure).
    They will only do it to save your life and obviously will attempt to treat your depression without locking you up.
  3. Stranger1

    Stranger1 Forum Buddy & Antiquities Friend

    Here in Florida the shrinks and therapists are bound by law to have you hospitalised if you are deemed dangerous to yourself or to someone else..If you tell them your suicidal but not acting on it then they may be a little easier on you.. You would be better off going voluntarily because you can get out sooner, If they Baker Act you then you have to go in front of a judge and he determins what is going to happen.. Then when it is time for you to get out you have to go in front of the judge again..
  4. kaputnik

    kaputnik New Member

    I've been wondering about this too. I recently started seeing a psychologist but I can't talk to her about my suicidal thoughts because she'll turn me in. So I have no one I can talk to about this. What am I supposed to do?
  5. ozinuk

    ozinuk Well-Known Member

    Ryanglander I don't to put you off BUT my experience with a so called mental health expert AKA psychiatrist has been a total betrayal. I spoke to mine in confidence thinking that the conversations were between me and her when I soon discovered she had been speaking to my wife behind my back about my past which exactly what it was MY past. I live in the Uk and it's illegal to break Dr patient confidentiality but morally...... they have no morals.:mad:
  6. Lovecraft

    Lovecraft Well-Known Member

    Confidentiality is usually breakable in situations where someone confides they are intending to commit a crime or to harm themselves.
  7. mdmefontaine

    mdmefontaine Antiquities Friend

    ...this can be a slippery slope, so tread carefully.

    there are laws concerning this issue, nearly everywhere. but. as we all know, rules can be bent and laws ignored, if you have enough power or if you THINK you have enough power.

    however, you have the right for treatment for these feelings, and for help for yourself. i am so glad that you want the help!

    one suggestion, is that you be honest but start slowly, and word your feelings very very carefully. an example could possibly be, that you tell your therapist you feel an urge at times but do not have methods. it is one way to guage how he/she will act.

    you could also say you feel an urge but, not enough for hospitalization, and that you WOULD say something if you thought you needed hospitalization.

    that said, some therapists do not know how to handle suicidal urges in patients. it is little known, but very true, that psychology does NOT train therapists extensively, or at all, in suicide related issues. there are exceptions to every rule. but i have had a qualifed, experienced, and empathic psychologist, IGNORE my expression of suicidal urges. she changed the subject.

    pm if you want to talk - and keep us all posted on what happens when you talk to your therapist - wish you the best - xx
  8. downunder

    downunder Well-Known Member

    Depends what country you are in and who you talk to. You could let them now a tiny bit at a time and gauge their response.

    I told my shrink I had made an attempt and she just asked if I wanted some anti depressants and that was it.
  9. ryanglander

    ryanglander Well-Known Member

    I told my therapist my mom made remarks that she was going to take her life doing a heated argument and the therapist STAYED on that subject and made sure that she beleived my mom is in no danger. She then came out and asked me if I was suicidal, and I said a little, and she kept asking about it, so I just lied and told her I don't really have any methods or plans.

    I can see if I told her that I tried to commit suicide last week, and that I have access to kill myself easily, that she would break confidentiality.... I just don't want anything to be done against my will. Mabye I should admit myself to an institution, because I have a "suicide machine" which I have had since last week, and like I said I never had such easy access to a quick painless suicide, so I have a lot of anxiety about dieing now...

    And earlier today I like said to myself, ok I'm going to kill myself Tuesday morning because I know I'll be alone, but now I feel better and just want help, and I'm even afraid because I know these feelings will return and I might kill myself if I get really upset...

    I SHOULD NEVER HAVE GOTTEN THIS "SUICIDE MACHINE" WHAT THE HELL DO I DO NOW!!! I can't just get rid of it... I can't just dispose of it for two reasons, it may harm someone, and the thing is in my name so if it caused/harmed someone I would be liable. I need to look into how to properly dispose of it.....

    But now I'm starting to feel like I don't want 2 get rid of it because I might do it. I know I need some kind of serious help like hospitilization soon or I prolly will do it, but with family I can't have myself admitted, or even let them suspect I'm suicidal....

    I don't know what to do...
  10. ~Claire

    ~Claire Well-Known Member

    Hey Ryan,

    Who are you scared that your therapist will break confidentiality to?

    As for your 'suicide machine', could you not give this to your therapist or even talk about it with them? It's best if you can get rid of it. If you want help then it's best to be honest with them. I know it's scary hun but they do want to help you.

  11. ryanglander

    ryanglander Well-Known Member

    My worry is that they will break confidentiality, by having me forced into an institution. I'm afraid of being institutionalized, or hospitilized against me will for a long, or even short time.
  12. downunder

    downunder Well-Known Member

    If you broke your machine so no one else can use it, then throw bits and pieces away in different places, then talk to your therapist in a way that says "I am worried that if I tell you too much blah blah blah, or ask when would someone be institutionalised in what circumstances etc", you will feel much better when you tell them.

    I once asked a counsellor when would she dob someone in to the CAT team and she gave me the scenario so I knew then never to say what she had just said.
  13. Rosenrot

    Rosenrot Forum Buddy

    And they can, you can totally mention that you feel suicidal, but don't mention that you tried suicide recently. They will more than likely section you.

    You can totally see a doctor, say you want to die, just don't mention that you're going to do it or have done it. Just try to get help.
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