December 4th, 2012

Psychotherapy in the UK: mandated reporting / confidentiality of information disclosed in therapy

Answered—thank you!

Setting: contemporary London (Sherlock fanfic).
Research done: Wikipedia article on mandated reporters (not at all helpful), Wikipedia and Google searches for various permutations of "mandated reporting uk" and "mandatory reporting uk", "psychologist mandated reporting uk", "medical mandated reporting uk", et cetera. Part of my problem is I'm not even sure that "mandated reporting" is used in the same way in the UK that it is in the US. Found this article that says doctors are required to report gunshot wounds, which is interesting but doesn't quite address my situation. Rooted around in the various psychology- and uk-law-enforcement-related tags here, too.

Basically, I'm American, and despite my kind of worrying fascination with Law & Order: UK, I don't fully understand privacy regulations / how doctor-patient confidentiality works in the UK. Specifically, I'm trying to figure out if a therapist in the UK has any legal requirement to report (or not report!) information relating to a crime but disclosed in therapy by the victim, and how that extends to the following situation. There are three people involved: A and B, who are both medical doctors, and C, who is a therapist. All of them are adults and none of them are members of what would be considered a vulnerable population. Goes like so:

  • A and B are friends.

  • A intervenes in a moment of intense emotional crisis in B's life.

  • About 24 hours later (and related to the aforementioned intense emotional crisis), B accidentally shoots A.

  • A survives, but experiences some (fairly low-grade, relatively speaking) PTSD as a result.

  • A goes to therapy with C to deal with his PTSD.
Here's what I'm not clear on: A knows perfectly well who shot him, but the police don't (Mycroft Holmes ex machina). If A wants to discuss that time his buddy shot him with his therapist--which I think is not unreasonable--if he says "oh yeah and B, who I know, who is my friend, is the person who shot me", is C obligated to tell the police? I'm assuming that A is perfectly aware of how much C is obligated to report, so this is mostly just an issue of getting my phrasing right for character A.

And, relatedly, does the fact that A was in one of those kind of... treatment grey areas with B at the time the shooting occurred affect this at all? Does intervening in a friend's emotional crisis, if you are a doctor, set up any kind of doctor-patient confidentiality between the two of them? Would it make it harder for A to disclose B's identity to his therapist? Or is it just a red herring?

I have experience with PTSD and already have all the resources in the land on that, and I'm working with a Britpicker on specific details, but this is enough of a specialized-knowledge kind of a thing that I want to check it here.

Thank you kindly!

Worldbuilding cuisine

This place has helped me clean up most of the major issues I've been having with my story, but there are still a few minor annoyances I need to correct.

Setting: Early 1800's era with magic and a few bits of anachronistic technology.

1) I need a food that will hold up well all day on the stove. The one currently in the story I've described as a stew with various things thrown in without regard to their taste. I chose a stew over a soup because I wanted something that would be filling and basically be the equivalent of firehouse chili, in that it's something that sits on the stove all day staying warm. What ingredients would hold up to moderate heat without disintegrating into a mush and still be recognizeable? Off the top of my head, I remember mentioning slices of corn still on the cob and boiled eggs. Will those work? And what other ingredients would do the same? It won't really matter what real world cultures these ingredients come from since the city where this takes place is a melting pot of cultures although most of the inhabitants are vaguely Eastern European.

search terms used: foods that can cook all day, foods that hold up well on the stove,

2) Magic and technology - not quite magitech - have enabled food preperation and preservation to reach levels that didn't exist in our actual early 19th century. Fast food, despite being most closely associated with the modern world, has existed since antiquity. Aside from various forms of paper, what other material could I use for takeout containers? Banana leaves? Palm leaves? What would work as cups. Bamboo? Clay? Lacquerware would be ideal, but it's not exactly cheap and wouldn't be something a hawker would give away for the price of a bowl of whatever food he was selling. Should I just sidestep the issue since it doesn't hinder the story at all?

search terms used: natural food containers, bamboo food container, leaf food container. fast food container materials(this one uncovered an interesting article about containers made from waste straw, but the process likely involves a bit too much laboratory science)