Patt Morrison

<em>Patt Morrison</em> is known for its innovative discussions of local politics and culture, as well as its presentation of the effects of national and world news on Southern California. Hosted by

Wisconsin shootings update and what should a therapist do with a patient like James Holmes?

by Patt Morrison

Accused movie theater shooter James Holmes makes his first court appearance at the Arapahoe County on July 23, 2012 in Centennial, Colorado. According to police, Holmes killed 12 people and injured 58 others during a shooting rampage at an opening night screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" July 20, in Aurora, Colorado. RJ Sangosti-Pool/Getty Images

An update on the latest out of Oak Creek, WI, where 40-year-old Army veteran Wade Michael Page allegedly opened fire on a Sikh Temple yesterday, killing six people and injuring three before he was shot and killed by police.

Authorities announced at a press conference this morning that they are attempting to identify another person, a white male, who they described as "a person of interest." We are also hearing reaction from local Sikhs.

James Holmes was being treated by a psychiatrist who warned University of Colorado officials about his behavior, according to one report, but no action was taken because Holmes began the process of dropping out of graduate school.

The case has reignited a debate about when therapists or counselors should or should not breach doctor-patient confidentiality. Professionals are legally and ethically required to break confidentiality when they believe an identifiable victim is in imminent danger; however, making this determination can be a less than straightforward process.

Whether or not a patient has a history of violence is often a key factor in deciding when to breach confidentiality, warn the appropriate parties, and possibly recommend that the patient be hospitalized.


No therapist can predict a patient’s future behavior, but how should they go about determining whether or not to violate the confidence of their patients, if ever?


Chuck Quirmbach, reporter, Wisconsin Public Radio; he joins us from WPR’s sutdios in Milwaukee

Simran Kaur, advocacy manager for the Sikh Coalition, the largest Sikh civil rights organization in the country; she joins us from their Fremont office

Kirtan Singh Khalsa, member of the board of directors for Sikh Dharma So Cal and Sikh Darma Worldwide, an international body of Sikhs; he is also a minister at the West Los Angeles Guru Ram Das Ashram

Art Caplan, head of the division of medical ethics at the NYU Langone medical center

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