Medpage Today

Clarifying the ‘Duty to Warn’ in North Carolina

Amid rising gun violence and threats in North Carolina, including severalopens in a new tab or window incidentsopens in a new tab or window in the last few weeks alone, the state has taken important steps to protect against gun violence, the leading cause of death in children statewide. The recently launched NC S.A.F.E.opens in a new tab or window (which stands for secure all firearms effectively) initiative aims to educate communities about firearm storage through social media, television, and radio advertising. Additionally, Gov. Roy Cooper (D) ordered the creation of the Office of Violence Prevention opens in a new tab or window to coordinate and deploy evidence-based public health strategies to mitigate violence in the community. Medical professionals have an important role to play in stemming the tide of violence. However, in North Carolina, we are disincentivized from reporting patients who appear at high risk of committing violent acts against others.