San Diego Law Review

Document Type



This Article considers the issues associated with emerging professional liability claims against mental health care providers. Part II supplies background information regarding this liability, including the elements of these claims. Part III details the decreasing stigma associated with obtaining mental health services and its impact on professional liability, while Part IV summarizes advancements in mental health treatment that have enhanced the functional capacities of potential litigants. The remaining Parts explore changes in the delivery of mental health care where litigation may be focused, including the increasing use of psychotropic medications (Part V), the expanding role of primary care physicians and other health care providers with limited training and experience pertaining to the treatment of mental illness (Part VI), the surge in pediatric psychotropic prescriptions (Part VII), the emergence of the informed consent doctrine and psychiatric advance directives (Part VIII), and the continuing development of Tarasoff-related liability (Part IX).