The Vermont Statutes Online
Title 18 : Health
Chapter 042B : HEALTH CARE PRIVACY(Cite as: 18 V.S.A. § 1882)
§ 1882. Disclosures of protected health information to avert a serious risk of danger
(a) It is the intent of the General Assembly in this section to negate the Vermont Supreme Court’s decision in 2016 VT 54A, and limit mental health professionals’ duty to that as established in common law by 146 Vt. 61 (1985).
(b) A mental health professional’s duty is established in common law by Peck v. Counseling Service of Addison County, Inc. and requires that “a mental health professional who knows or, based upon the standards of the mental health profession, should know that his or her patient poses a serious risk of danger to an identifiable victim has a duty to exercise reasonable care to protect him or her from that danger.” This duty shall be applied in accordance with State and federal privacy and confidentiality laws.
(c) This section does not limit or restrict claims under State or federal law related to safe patient care, including federal discharge planning regulations within the Conditions of Participation for hospitals, patient care regulations for other federally certified facilities, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act of 1986, Pub. L. No. 99-272, professional licensing standards, or facility licensing standards.
(d) To the extent permitted under federal law, this section does not affect the requirements for mental health professionals to communicate with individuals involved in a patient’s care in a manner that is consistent with legal and professional standards, including section 7103 of this title. (Added 2017, No. 51, § 2, eff. May 30, 2017.)