Discussion - Week 5

Discussion - Week 5 - 1. Discuss whether you believe that...

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1. Discuss whether you believe that there ought to be Privileged Communications and if so, which ones do you believe are viable or worth preserving, and, if not, why not? An exchange of information between two individuals in a confidential relationship. A privileged communication is a private statement that must be kept in confidence by the recipient for the benefit of the communicator. Even if it is relevant to a case, a privileged communication cannot be used as evidence in court. Privileged communications are controversial because they exclude relevant facts from the truth-seeking process. Generally, the laws that guide civil and criminal trials are designed to allow the admission of relevant evidence. Parties generally have access to all information that will help yield a just result in the case. Privileged communications are an exception to this rule. Privileged communications exist because society values the privacy or purpose of certain relationships. The established privileged communications are those between wife and husband, clergy and communicant, psychotherapist and patient, physician and patient, and attorney and client. These relationships are protected for various reasons. The wife-husband and clergy- communicant privileges protect the general sanctity of marriage and religion. The psychotherapist or physician and patient privilege promotes full disclosure in the interests of the patient's health. If patients were unable to keep secret communications with psychotherapists or physicians relating to treatment or diagnosis, they might give doctors incomplete information. If doctors received incomplete information, they might be unable to administer HEALTH CARE to the patient, which is the very purpose of the doctor-patient relationship. The Attorney-Client Privilege exists for roughly the same reason as the PHYSICIAN - PATIENT PRIVILEGE . In order to secure effective representation, a client must feel free to discuss all aspects of a case without the fear that her attorney will be called at trial to repeat her statements. Likewise, to retain the client's trust and do his job properly, the attorney must be allowed to withhold from the court and opposing party private communications with the client. A communication is not confidential, and therefore not privileged, if it is overheard by a third party who is not an agent of the listener. Agents include secretaries and other employees of the listener. For example, a communication between a psychotherapist and patient would be privileged even if the psychotherapist's secretary happened to overhear it. In such a case, the secretary could not be forced to testify about the communication. However, a communication between a psychotherapist and a patient on a public elevator occupied by third parties would not be privileged and could be used in court. Privileged communications are not always absolute. For instance, a criminal defendant may be
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Discussion - Week 5 - 1. Discuss whether you believe that...

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