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Puppy Snacks on Earrings and Surgery Costs $7,700.00 – Pets Best Insurance Pays 80%, Total paid by family in premiums about $90.00, total received by family about $6,100.00 Value of Abby to Her Family, Nearly Priceless!

Boise, ID (PRWEB) August 30, 2007

Pet insurance can provide the immediate means to cover costly veterinary care once the policy is in force. Abby is a very good example – before being adopted, this happy and loving Labrador mixed breed puppy had already had a pretty tough life. Both her and her brother were originally dumped on the side of the road, starving, sick and infested with fleas, both were in need of veterinary care. They were sent to a local shelter and put on the list to be euthanized. Funds were not available for needed care and her brother didn’t make it, but Abby was rescued at the last minute. Charles and Virginia Meyer adopted her and paid the hospitalization costs related to her rescue that exceeded $ 1,000. In very short period of time, she had an injury to her rear leg and other issues that included surgery to remove ingested earrings. In her short life, veterinary care is quickly approaching $ 9,000.00.

According to Virginia Meyer, “Abby is such a wonderful addition to our family; she is like a child to my husband and me. Her care after she was rescued cost us around $ 1,000.00. We feel she is worth so much that we can not place a monetary price on her. Once we got Abby home, she had a serious injury to her rear leg. It required a specialist and he suggested that we protect Abby in the future with Pets Best Insurance. We went online and ordered coverage for Abby. A few weeks later while at home, Abby brought a small box to me, minus the earnings it normally contained. Within hours, she was very sick and we rushed her to an emergency clinic. After several surgeries and trips back and forth to the veterinarian, she is now back at home and recovering. For Charles and me, we would have done whatever it would take to care for our puppy. We are thankful that we have insurance coverage because we just cannot imagine having to choose between providing needed care, or having to put Abby down.”

LegalView Updates Mesothelioma Blog with Info about An Asbestos-Tainted Toy That Has Been Pulled from Shelves

Denver, CO (PRWEB) December 30, 2007

LegalView.com recently reported on its mesothlelioma information blog that a popular toy was finally pulled from shelves after it was found to have been tainted with traces of asbestos dust. The CSI:Crime Scene Investigation Fingerprint Examination Kits and the CSI:Crime Scene Investigation Field Kits allegedly had traces of asbestos fibers and dust in the product, which is made for children.

Mesothelioma is a deadly form of cancer that is often described as painful and debilitating for victims. Most individuals who are diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer came in contact with asbestos fibers or asbestos dust several years earlier. After having inhaled the asbestos, cancer cells began to form on the interior lining of the lung. Mesothelioma cancer is often misdiagnosed because symptoms are similar to other illnesses and because it takes years and even decades to develop. If caught early, there is a chance of treating mesothelioma, but because it is considered a silent killer by many, it is often not caught until it is far too late for a victim. If you recently purchased either of these recalled toy games, contact a mesothelioma law firm to determine the next best step to protect loved ones. Also contact an experienced asbestos attorney if you, a friend or family member has or may have been previously exposed to asbestos to get the help you deserve.

The games were allegedly found to have asbestos contamination in the fingerprint powder within the kits. An asbestos awareness group known as the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) tested hundreds of toys and other products for asbestos, according to news reports. Several weeks after finding the toy’s contamination, the toys were finally removed from shelves. Contact with asbestos is irreversible and extremely hazardous to any human being, but children are especially susceptible to harm from asbestos. If you feel you, your child, a friend or family member has been exposed to asbestos fibers or dust contact an asbestos law firm for more information on what to do.

LegalView offers assistance on a variety of legal topics for Americans who need information and need to be able to locate it quickly and easily. For more information on mesothelioma or asbestos contact a mesothelioma attorney. In addition to mesothelioma, victims of Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis (NSF) can also find additional information on the illness that usually affects kidney disease patients who undergo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) tests and receive gadolinium dye. LegalView.com can help victims locate a NSF lawyer who can offer consultation on the illness. Also available on LegalView.com is information on the recent reports of all-terrain vehicle (ATV) accidents and rollovers that have allegedly been the cause of individuals losing limbs as well as their lives due to potentially faulty vehicles. For more information on this, use LegalView.com to contact an ATV law firm. And use the ATV information portal to find more information on allegedly dangerous types and brands of the faulty ATVs.

About LegalView:

LegalView.com is a public service brought to you by Legal WebTV Network, LLC, a Limited Liability Corporation created by a group of the nation’s most highly respected law firms: Anapol Schwartz; Brent Coon and Associates; Burg Simpson; Cohen, Placitella and Roth; James F. Humphreys and Associates; Lopez McHugh; and Thornton and Naumes. For more information on the accomplishments and track records of LegalView.com’s superior sponsoring law firms and to get in touch with LegalView attorneys, visit LegalView at http://www.LegalView.com.

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On National Missing Children’s Day AdaptiveMobile Warns US Parents About the Hidden Dangers Cell Phones Could Pose for Children and Teenagers

Dublin, Ireland (PRWEB) May 26, 2008

AdaptiveMobile, http://www.adaptivemobile.com, the leading provider of mobile subscriber protection for enterprises and individuals, today issued a warning to parents to be aware of the risks and hidden dangers the mobile environment poses to children. The company is making this announcement to commemorate National Missing Children’s Day, to honor the estimated 800,000 children that go missing each year, more than 2,000 per day. The dangers in unrestricted internet usage is well known among US parents, and AdaptiveMobile wants parents to be aware that cell phones can allow predators and strangers to have almost unrestricted access to their children via social networking sites, texting and MMS. In one recent chilling example, a 14 year old girl in the US was sexually assaulted by a man who contacted her through her a profile she posted by cell phone on a mobile social networking site.

Many of the guidelines for child protection and safety overlook the cell phone and focus on the computer, but doing so can have dire consequences for children. In a 2007 survey, AdaptiveMobile found that children access the internet from their phones an average of nine times per day, often without their parents’ knowledge. AdaptiveMobile is highlighting the following risks for parents:

Parental Summer Session Tips That Equips Parents With The Tools To Confront The Alarming Statistics Regarding Children Being Confronted Daily With Decisions About Negative Behavior And Drug Use Whlie On Summer Break

Orlando, FL (PRWEB) July 4, 2008

The term “an elephant in the room” refers to a situation where an issue or truth is being ignored or unaddressed. Fortunately, Donovan Davis is equipping families with the tools to address the elephant in the room. Donovan believes that it starts with respecting our children.

The truth is when kids have idle time and make the leap from elementary school to junior high, their exposure to negative behavior and drugs increases dramatically. Recent studies reveal that 1 in 13 sixth graders have smoked marijuana. The figure jumps to an even more alarming 1 in 5 by the seventh grade. This is an increase of nearly 300 percent.elf esteem is crucial to there social development.

While many parents have had “the talk” with their teenagers, others have yet to discuss the dangers of drugs with their teens. As a parent, you do make a difference in your child’s decision about the right choices throughout the teenage years and their self esteem is crucial to there social development. For the summer parents, your children may be confronted daily with decisions about negative behavior or drug use.

Let’s look at the definition of self esteem: it is the ability to feel good about ourselves whether or not we are always. Successful it is a feeling of satisfaction we experience after our needs are met. We as parents can help build our children’s self-esteem by telling them positive things about themselves. Additionally, we must praise them for good decisions, small deeds and great initiatives.

Since most teenagers have a strong desire to conform to their peer groups, parents are encouraged to help build their self esteem and to control the friends that surround them. If the adolescent is hanging out with a group of teens that are involved in sports, and then meets someone who is into drugs, his opinion of that teen will most likely be “he is stupid.” Why?

Partly because he will embrace the opinion of the teens closest to him. The problem is that the reverse is also true. What then does this mean for parents of idle teens?

I provide Life Coaching services, and I work with families daily to address their adolescent decision making process. During my time as a teacher and administrator I have learned different strategies on how to build self esteem in individuals. I also have listed the different strategies for parents on how to build self esteem in their children in my book “The Blueprint of Parenting”. As a teacher I enjoyed teaching our future, but I quickly realized that most teachers have no idea the warning signs of possible illicit drug exposure. I made sure I listed different drug diagnosis in my book “The Blueprint of a Successful Classroom”, for teachers to be able to recognize the symptoms of drug use and other mental health disorders within the classroom.

Every parent has great expectations for there children and it is the goal of all parents to raise wonderful children. In my book “The Blueprint to and through College”, I give positive advise for high school seniors and college freshmen on vital decisions that they must make for a successful future. In the world we live in, we must protect our children from negative influences that could alter their future and affect their possibility of success. Illicit drugs affect all of us and in my book “The Blueprint of Recovery”, I site the stories of addicts and there journey through addiction.

Lastly, parents must acknowledge their child’s potential. If a parent does not speak of the child’s unlimited possibilities, their child may become susceptible to negative peer feedback. Henceforth, sending them into an unsuspecting path of poor decisions and negative consequences. As parents, it is our responsibility to assist our children in feeling good about themselves.

Donovan Davis is the founder of askdonovandavis.com, a Social Service Agency, dedicated to raise humanity’s awareness, acceptance and understanding of our changing world through his books series entitled “Blueprint”. Donovan Davis can be reached at 888.264.6168 or via email donovan@askdonovandavis.com.

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California Family Law Firm Discusses the Myths, the Truth and Some Tips About Paying Child Support in California

Whittier, CA (PRWEB) August 24, 2008

California family law firm Schuster Family Law discusses the myths, the truths and the tips about paying child support in California.

The Myths — “When it comes to paying child support, there is seldom agreement,” said Dennis Schuster, founder of Schuster Family Law. “Mothers and fathers will either claim they cannot pay the support ordered by the court or that they cannot live on the support ordered by the court. Paying child support is never an easy aspect of divorce proceedings.”

According to Schuster, this is because people hear so many different stories regarding child support. On one hand, there are the stories how one person paid little or nothing toward child support; on the other hand, there are also stories how another person got a large amount of money for child support.

The Truth — The truth of the matter, says Schuster, is that child support is regulated by a complex formula established by the State of California.

“Support is usually based upon all gross income (including overtime and bonuses) for the past 12 months of both parties, number of children, percentage of time each child is with parent,” said Schuster.

He explained that the court will allow certain hardship deductions, such as an unusual medical expenses; however, the court ordinarily doesn’t take into account a person’s monthly living expenses.

Schuster notes that when it comes to paying child support, there is often not a lot of room for negotiation, so the parties must accept whatever the judge orders.

Some Tips

–Most important, the person who pays must pay.

—If the payer doesn’t pay, the amount owed will accrue 10% interest per year.

—Child support cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.

–With the exception of money owed to a County Department of Child Support Services for AFDC, there is no statute of limitations on child support.

–To protect yourself, insist on a wage assignment order attaching your wages. It’s proof you paid.

–When obtaining a child support order, it’s important the amount for each child be clearly indicated, so this amount will be automatically reduced once the child becomes an adult.

About Schuster Family Law

Schuster Family Law is a California family law firm that handles divorce and adoption cases. Schuster is also developing a unique niche in representing parents whose children need special education. For more information, visit: http://www.schusterfamilylaw.com

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John Walsh Partners with CA, Inc. to Help Keep America Safe Online : Victim Advocate and Television Crime Fighter Teams with Global Software Company to Raise Awareness about the Danger of Cyber crime and Online Predators


ISLANDIA, N.Y. (PRWEB) November 24, 2008

“John Walsh is a great match for CA’s Internet security businessboth have a tenacious drive to protect consumers on- and off-line,” said George Kafkarkou, senior vice president and general manager, Internet Security Business Unit for CA. “Together we’ll raise awareness of protecting consumers of all ages against the increasingly sophisticated and organized world of cyber crime.”

“I am honored to team with CA’s Internet Security business, a group whose products and vision reflect a strong commitment to protecting consumers and stopping cyber criminals dead in their tracks,” said John Walsh. “CA’s campaign addresses the most crucial issue our society faces in a Web 2.0 world; protecting our loved ones from the cyber creeps. I look forward to working with CA to promote consumer awareness and keeping predators and fraudsters away from our children and families.”

CA Internet Security Suite Plus 2009 is currently available at http://shop.ca.com and from CA resellers, including major retail outlets, nationwide.

About John Walsh

John Walsh is internationally recognized as the host of TV’s “America’s Most Wanted;” the groundbreaking television program that has helped take down more than 1,040 dangerous fugitives during the past 21 years. John Walsh has dedicated his life to fighting for justiceincluding his proudest achievementprotecting the nation’s children. John and his wife, Rev

Allstate Insurance Company Holiday Teen Driving Hotspots Study Reveals Areas with Highest Rates of Deadly Teen Crashes from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day : Study part of Home for the Holidays teen safe driving campaign to urge parents and teens to have a conversation about smart driving during the holiday season and sign Allstate’s Parent-Teen Driving Contract


NORTHBROOK, Ill. (PRWEB) December 3, 2008

The Allstate Holiday Teen Driving Hotspots Study found that the 10 deadliest hotspots for fatal teen crashes among the nation’s 50 largest metro areas (a central city and its surrounding counties) from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day are:

President Obama Warns Kids about Posting on Facebook; PC Pandora Warns Parents about the Dangers of Not Monitoring Their Children’s Internet Activity


San Diego, CA (PRWEB) September 14, 2009

Last week, president Obama met with 32 ninth graders at Wakefield High School in Arlington, VA, for a question-and-answer session. The discussion eventually led to the President’s caution about being too open on social networks.

According to Reuters, Obama stated: “I want everybody here to be careful about what you post on Facebook, because in the YouTube age, whatever you do, it will be pulled up again later somewhere in your life.”

He continued, “when you’re young, you make mistakes and you do some stupid stuff. And I’ve been hearing a lot about young people who [post] stuff on Facebook, and then suddenly they go apply for a job and somebody has done a search.”

The president’s statement echoes a survey from this past June by careerbuilder.com, which revealed that 45-percent of employers used social networking websites to research job candidates. Furthermore, 35-percent of the employers surveyed said they had found content on those sites that had influenced them to reject a candidate. Examples included inappropriate photographs, information about the applicants’ drinking or drug use, or bad mouthing of previous employers, co-workers or clients.

Employers aren’t the only ones screening your kids. An LA Times article from earlier this year documented a report by the National Association for College Admission Counseling, revealing that about a quarter of U.S. colleges are doing some research about applicants on social networking sites or through Internet search engines.

Pandora Corp., makers of PC Pandora computer monitoring software, is giving advice similar to President Obama’s to parents across the country.

“It is imperative that parents be aware of not only what their kids are doing online and who they are talking to, but also how they are representing themselves in the digital community,” says Pandora Corp. co-founder Jamie Leasure.

As the internet evolved into the current “web 2.0” state, America’s youth gained an unprecedented ability to share their lives in a public forum. Unfortunately, parents don’t realize that many kids have multiple social networking profiles.

“Allowing children, especially younger ones, on the Internet unsupervised is like letting them get in a car with a stranger. But even when you think you have a handle on your kids’ Internet activities there are risks,” explains nationally recognized child advocate, Maureen Flatley. “Some kids will show their parents a social networking profile, their ‘official’ pages. But at the same time, they have secondary page where dangerous activity takes place.”

Flatley says these other profiles often involve activities as diverse as chatting with strangers, to ordering prescription drugs online with parents’ credit cards or learning how to practice eating disorders.

“The risks go well beyond the obvious things,” says Flatley. “It doesn’t take a skilled, sophisticated search to readily identify multiple profiles or webpages for the same student or job applicant these are the pages that will come back to haunt entire families in this YouTube and Facebook generation.”

Computer monitoring software programs like PC Pandora are the best tool a parent can use to stay current on their child’s Internet activity. PC Pandora records all user activity through a series of screenshots and activity logs. This gives parents the unique ability to view their child’s activity in DVR-fashion, and review specific activity, such as instant messages, emails, websites and items searched for on the web.

For the social networking websites, PC Pandora will let you see firsthand any updates made to your child’s page, as well conversations in MySpace and Facebook’s instant messenger programs. It will also give you the usernames and passwords for the accounts they may not want you to know about.

“The reality is that parents should be concerned with everything their child does online. Whether it’s Facebook or MySpace, instant messenger or Twitter, peer-to-peer sharing or just innocent surfing, parents need to be involved,” says Flatley. “There is no excuse for not knowing all aspects of what your child is doing on the Internet. Monitoring software plays a critical role in obtaining that knowledge. It allows you to be an effective 21st century parent by eliminating the guesswork.”

The recently-launched PD Pandora Internet Safety Symposium, created in association with Flatley and her team at Flatley McNeil and Associates, is an additional resource that Pandora Corp. makes available for free. An informative and customizable 90-minute safety seminar that analyzes the common threats children and families face online every day, the symposium covers cyberbullying, Internet predators, social networking, peer-to-peer file sharing and more. The complete kit consists of a full PowerPoint presentation, read-along script, 6-page parent hand-out for distribution, and marketing materials.

“The bottom line is that parents need to be just as aware of what their children are doing and saying online as they would be for real-life situations,” says Leasure. “As our society progresses and technology advances, the two worlds are becoming synonymous – there is little distinction anymore between what people say and do online and in real-life. Kids often don’t realize that; it’s up to parents to teach them.”

For more details, visit http://www.pcpandora.com. A two-hour trial of PC Pandora is available for download. The PD Pandora Internet Safety page has a sample of the symposium materials and a quick form can get you started on bringing the Internet safety discussion to your town.

About PC Pandora: Pandora Corporation was formed with one goal – to help our customers monitor, control and protect their families and themselves online. First released in mid 2005, PC Pandora has been constantly upgraded to industry-leading specifications and has received accolades from users, reviewers and even school districts and law enforcement agencies, who use the program to help in the day-to-day supervision of the children and citizens they are charged with protecting. The company website devotes space to helping parents by providing them with 18 Tips to Safe Surfing and Pandora’s Blog, where current news in the world of online safety is discussed regularly. PC Pandora has vaulted into a leadership position for parental control software by boasting a combination of features that are unparalleled in the monitoring industry. In 2008, Version 5.0 was released, again widening the spectrum of coverage and protection offered by the program. PC Pandora is also now available through the Pandora Corp. store at Amazon.com. Currently in version 5.3, the next release of PC Pandora will incorporate Pandora LIVE, a web-based service that will allow parents to check content from anywhere through a secure server.

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Financial Expert Advises Consumers Not to Get Hung Up on Their Credit Scores When Deciding What to Do About Their Debts

Austin, Texas (PRWEB) September 30, 2009

When financially-troubled consumers evaluate their get-out-of-debt options, far too many of them get needlessly hung up on how a particular option will affect their FICO scores, says Michael Bovee, president of the Consumer Recovery Network (http://www.consumerrecovery.com). He explains, “Although consumers who are not in financial crisis should always be mindful of their FICO scores when they are managing their money and making financial decisions, credit scores are the last thing consumers should be worried about if they are running out of money, can’t meet their financial obligations, and at risk for losing their assets. They should focus their attention instead on determining which debt management option will work best for them taking into account the dollars and cents and the flexibility of each option. They should also consider issues like their employment status and their likely financial needs and goals over the next 5 to 10 years. For example, do they expect to be in the job market soon, maybe because their current job is not secure or because they need to earn more money; will they be applying for a federal PLUS loan in a couple years to help fund the college education of their child; is it likely that they will need to finance the purchase of a new vehicle in the foreseeable future, and so on? Consumers’ answers to such questions may argue in favor of a particular debt management option.” Bovee warns that consumers who fail to focus on the right issues risk making irrational decisions about what to do about their debts which would probably make their financial situations worse as a result.

According to Bovee, consumers have three basic options for resolving their debts. Each option has its own pros and cons when evaluated using his decision making criteria. Those options are:

Enroll in a debt management plan (DMP) sponsored by a nonprofit credit counseling organization. Typically the interest rate on the debts in the plan will be reduced, which will lower a consumer’s monthly payments. However, statistics show that most DMPs take 5 years to complete and in today’s shrinking job market it’s important to get out of debt faster than 5 years whenever possible. Consumers who take longer will be at greater risk for seeing their income go down while they’re paying on their plan, which could mean that they wouldn’t be able to remain in the plan. If that were to happen, they would lose the lower interest rates on the debts that they are paying off through their DMP and the new rates on those debts end up being higher than what they were prior to starting their plans. In fact, a 2006 study released the National Foundation for Credit Counseling revealed that only 26% of the consumers enrolled in one of its DMPs actually completed their plans.

File for bankruptcy. Consumers who are able to qualify for a Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy will get most of their debts wiped out (discharged) relatively quickly although they may also have to give up some of their assets in return. The fact that they filed for bankruptcy will be in their credit histories for ten years; even so, they will be able to obtain small amounts of new credit 2-3 years after their discharge.
Consumers who file a Chapter 13 reorganization bankruptcy will be responsible for paying off most of their debts (the full outstanding balances on some types of debts rather than something less) over a 3 to 5 year period according to the terms of a court-approved and supervised plan and may not have to give up any of their assets. (During that time the consumers’ finances will be under the court’s microscope.) Historically however, only 30% of consumers actually complete their Chapter 13 bankruptcies.

Both types of bankruptcy will trigger an automatic stay, which is a court order stopping the collection actions of creditors. Those actions include foreclosures, repossessions, and lawsuits.

Settle debts. Debt settlement involves negotiating reduced balances on consumers’ unsecured debts. Typically, settlement helps consumers get out of debt faster than filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy or participating in a DMP. As a result, consumers who pursue debt settlement can begin rebuilding their credit histories sooner and generally can qualify for new credit about 18 months after completing their last settlement. However, settling a debt won’t stop lawsuits related to their unsecured debts like bankruptcy will, although reputable debt settlement firms will work to reduce the likelihood of lawsuits.
In Bovee’s opinion, taking the math and other practical factors into consideration and putting FICO scores aside, Chapter 7 bankruptcy provides most consumers with the fastest most complete relief from too much debt. However, when DMP and settlement are compared, settlement is usually their second best option.

CRN helps consumers protect their rights when they have too much debt, make sound financial decisions, and alleviate their economic stress by providing them with clear-cut debt settlement education and advice coupled with affordable full service debt negotiation and settlement services. (CRN does not settle student loans, car loans or mortgages.) Its consumer education, coaching, and debt negotiation and settlement services coupled with its reasonable fees have made CRN a leader and innovator within the debt settlement industry, setting standards for fairness, ethics and best practices.

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Fort Hood Shootings Raise Questions about Doctor-Patient Confidentiality

Dallas, TX (PRWEB) November 27, 2009

The November 5 Fort Hood shootings raise several serious legal questions, particularly concerning the bounds of psychotherapist-patient confidentiality. Recent news reports revealed that the alleged shooter, Army psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hassan, wanted to have several of his soldier patients prosecuted for war crimes based on information they revealed during therapy sessions with Hassan.

According to reports, Hassan had asked several colleagues if he had the legal authority to report the war crimes without breaching his duty of confidentiality. Hassan also reportedly spoke with military prosecutors about bringing charges against the patients he believed had committed war crimes. Hassan’s requests, however, were repeatedly ignored. Some commentators speculate that his anger and frustration from these denials may have served as an impetus for the shootings. The last denial of his requests to bring criminal charges against the patients came three days before the shootings.

Many of Hassan’s colleagues and those working in the mental health field have expressed outrage that he would share information a patient had revealed in confidence for the treatment of a mental condition. Psychiatrists and others in the medical profession take the Hippocratic Oath to protect patient confidences very seriously, and are loathe to think that anyone might reveal something shared in confidence.

Confidences are rarely absolute, though. If patient-soldiers did in fact reveal that they had committed war crimes, Hassan may have been correct in sharing the information. If instead, though, his patients revealed nothing more than the horrors of war, he committed a grave injustice against those who trusted him as a professional to help deal with wartime experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Psychotherapist-Patient Privilege

Many people misunderstand the legal rules requiring disclosure in the mental health field. In part, this misunderstanding stems from the separate confidentiality standards within the mental health profession and the legal system.

In the legal system, the U.S. Supreme Court case of Jaffee v. Redmond established the federal psychotherapist-privilege. The Court ruled that generally a psychotherapist or licensed social worker cannot be compelled to disclose confidential communications. However, the Court specifically noted that there are situations where this privilege might give way to more compelling concerns.

By the time the federal courts recognized this privilege, all 50 states already had statutes recognizing the psychotherapist-patient privilege. However, many of these states explicitly delineate exceptions. The most common exceptions include:

Public health reporting exception: for sexually transmitted diseases and other contagious diseases, rape
Mandatory reporting exception: for child abuse, elderly abuse, domestic violence, gun shots and stabbings
Crime-fraud exception: if the patient is in the progress or about to commit a crime or other fraud, the therapist has an affirmative duty to report it
Immediate threat exception: if the patient presents an immediate threat of harm to him or herself or another, the therapist has an affirmative duty to report

In the military justice system, the psychotherapist-patient privilege was adopted a few years after the Jaffee opinion. The rule now is memorialized in Rule 513 of the Military Rules of Evidence (MRE) and reads in pertinent part:

“A patient has a privilege to refuse to disclose and to prevent any other person from disclosing a confidential communication made between the patient and a psychotherapist or an assistant to the psychotherapist, in a case arising under the UCMJ, if such communication was made for the purpose of facilitating diagnosis or treatment of the patient’s mental or emotional condition.”

Unlike the federal rules, which do not enumerate a list of exceptions to the psychotherapist-patient privilege, Rule 513 does provide explicit exceptions to the privilege. Some of these exceptions parallel the civilian rules, like reporting cases of spousal or child abuse or situations when the patient is a danger to him or herself or another person. However, some of the exceptions are unique.

Among other things:

The privilege ends at the patient’s death
The privilege is subject to mandatory reporting duties under not only federal and state law but also service regulations
The privilege can be breached when it is necessary to ensure the safety and security of military personnel, dependents, property, classified information or the accomplishment of a military mission
These exceptions clearly apply to the reporting of war crimes, which is required under the service regulations of the Army. Thus, if Hassan learned during therapy sessions that soldiers had committed actual war crimes, then he did have a duty to report this information to his superiors.

The Importance of Protecting the Psychotherapist Privilege

The situations leading Hassan to believe the soldiers had committed war crimes have not been publicized. Without this information, it is impossible to determine whether his decision to report the information was justified or a breach of his duty of confidentiality.

However, it is vital and necessary that communications between a soldier and his or her therapist are not revealed in cases of non-criminal acts. This includes instances when the solider may have been personally involved in or witnessed civilian deaths that were inadvertent, unintentional and an unfortunate consequence of war.

Allegations of war crimes are taken very seriously by the U.S. military. The charge should not be used casually or to describe anything other than the deliberate and willful killing, torture and inhumane treatment of civilians and other soldiers, as defined under Article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

The psychotherapist-patient privilege is based on the importance of creating an environment where patients feel secure enough to disclose information freely and without self-censorship. For soldiers returning from war and attempting to deal things they have seen and experienced, preserving the confidentiality of this environment is critical. Accordingly, this privilege should only be breached when the law or special circumstances dictate. Clearly though, the commission of war crimes necessitates such a breach and it is important that all military personnel on active duty, including mental health professionals, are trained in the law of war and understand the definition of war crimes.

Visit us at http://www.texasmilitaryjustice.com

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