Mississippi State Board of Psychological Examiners v. Hosford

508 So. 2d 1049 (1987)

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Mississippi State Board of Psychological Examiners v. Hosford

Mississippi Supreme Court
508 So. 2d 1049 (1987)

Facts

Robert L. Hosford (defendant) held a license to practice psychology in Mississippi, which was issued by the Mississippi State Board of Psychological Examiners (plaintiff). In 1985, Hosford was disciplined by final decision of the board for disclosing psychologist-patient information by submitting an affidavit in support of a husband’s custody efforts, disclosing information obtained from sessions held with the wife separately and with the pair as a couple. The board found that Hosford had violated Principle 5 of the American Psychological Association’s Ethical Principles of Psychologists, which prohibits psychologists from disclosing confidential psychologist-patient information without the patient’s consent or unless the psychologist is presented with a matter of clear danger to the psychologist or others. Hosford argued that the disclosure was made because of the clear danger to the child whose custody was contested by his patients. The board rejected Hosford’s argument after finding that the clear-danger exception only applied in situations of life and death. The board ordered that Hosford be suspended for 90 days. Hosford sought judicial review of the board’s decision in a state chancery court. The chancery court reversed the board’s decision, and the board appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Robertson, J.)

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