2010 Maryland Code
COURTS AND JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS
TITLE 5 - LIMITATIONS, PROHIBITED ACTIONS, AND IMMUNITIES
Subtitle 6 - Immunities and Prohibited Actions - Health and Public Safety
Section 5-609 - Mental health care providers or administrators.

§ 5-609. Mental health care providers or administrators.
 

(a)  Definitions.-  

(1) In this section the following words have the meanings indicated. 

(2) "Mental health care provider" means: 

(i) A mental health care provider licensed under the Health Occupations Article; and 

(ii) Any facility, corporation, partnership, association, or other entity that provides treatment or services to individuals who have mental disorders. 

(3) "Administrator" means an administrator of a facility as defined in § 10-101 of the Health - General Article. 

(b)  In general.- A cause of action or disciplinary action may not arise against any mental health care provider or administrator for failing to predict, warn of, or take precautions to provide protection from a patient's violent behavior unless the mental health care provider or administrator knew of the patient's propensity for violence and the patient indicated to the mental health care provider or administrator, by speech, conduct, or writing, of the patient's intention to inflict imminent physical injury upon a specified victim or group of victims. 

(c)  Duties.-  

(1) The duty to take the actions under paragraph (2) of this subsection arises only under the limited circumstances described under subsection (b) of this section. 

(2) The duty described under this section is deemed to have been discharged if the mental health care provider or administrator makes reasonable and timely efforts to: 

(i) Seek civil commitment of the patient; 

(ii) Formulate a diagnostic impression and establish and undertake a documented treatment plan calculated to eliminate the possibility that the patient will carry out the threat; or 

(iii) Inform the appropriate law enforcement agency and, if feasible, the specified victim or victims of: 

1. The nature of the threat; 

2. The identity of the patient making the threat; and 

3. The identity of the specified victim or victims. 

(d)  Patient confidentiality.- No cause of action or disciplinary action may arise under any patient confidentiality act against a mental health care provider or administrator for confidences disclosed or not disclosed in good faith to third parties in an effort to discharge a duty arising under this section according to the provisions of subsection (c) of this section. 
 

[1989, ch. 634; 1997, ch. 14, § 9; 1999, ch. 44.] 
 

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