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INSPIRATION FROM HISTORY
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 138-140

The story of Prosenjit Poddar


Department of Psychiatry and National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Siddharth Sarkar
Department of Psychiatry and National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi - 110 029
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0971-8990.193437

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The concept of "Tarasoff duty" is familiar to mental health professionals. Entwined with the name of Tarasoff, is that of Prosenjit Poddar, the other important character in the story which led to the courts giving directions for mental health professionals with regard to their duty of warn. Prosenjit Poddar killed Tatiana Tarasoff when his advances toward her were rebuffed. However, the court ruled that the mental health professional who was treating Poddar and was in knowledge of his intentions to harm Tarasoff, did not take adequate measures to warn the potential victim. This led to courts laying statutes for warning the potential victims by mental health professionals when their clients disclose such threats. However, the ruling has been a matter of debate about when to take any threat seriously and how to tread cautiously given the therapist-client privilege. The case of Prosenjit Poddar throws light on complex issues related to balancing confidentiality and potential harm to others.


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