Legal Advisor: Legal Duties and Options when a Patient Raises Suicide

Legal Advisor : Legal Duties and Options when a Patient Raises Suicide

Now the 10 th leading cause of death, suicide claims more lives than traffic accidents and more than twice as many as homicides. This CME activity increases awareness about the recommended next steps he or she should take if a patient mentions suicide. The recommendations include assessing the patient's risk for following through and understanding the legal repercussions if the patient does commit suicide.

Learning Objectives

  • Restate why it is imperative to thoroughly document all patient discussions about suicide.
  • Determine whether to refer a patient to outpatient psychiatric treatment, recommend voluntary inpatient treatment, or take more drastic action.
  • Discern whether disclosure of a patient's comment about suicide to a third party is a violation of confidentiality
  • Determine how to respond to a patient's mention of suicide in ways that help the patient and may increase the odds of the provider prevailing in any future malpractice litigation.

Course Fees
MMS Member Physicians: $12
Nonmember Physicians: $22
Allied Health Professionals: $9.60

Format:  Text

CME Credit:  1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™

Accreditation Statement  
The Massachusetts Medical Society is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical
Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

AMA Credit Designation Statement 
The Massachusetts Medical Society designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

This activity meets the criteria for the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine for risk management study.

National Commission on Certification of Physicians Assistant (NCCPA).

Physician Assistants may claim a maximum of 1.00  Category 1 credits for completing this activity. NCCPA accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ from organizations accredited by ACCME or a recognized state medical society.

A score of 70% or higher is required to receive  AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.

Activity Term
Original Released Date: September 5, 2012
Review Date: September 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
Termination Date: September 5, 2018

System requirements:


Desktops/Laptops
Windows, XP, Vista, 7, 8
Mac OSX 10.6 higher
Most modern browsers including:
IE8,9,10
Firefox 18.0+
Chrome 26+
Safari 5+
Flash player  is required for some Online CME courses.

Mobile/Tablet
iOS devices beginning with OS version 5 or higher (includes, iPhone, ipad and iTouch devices)
Android devices including tablets and phones.
Windows RT and tablets on Windows 8 are also supported.


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