A 57-year-old man is seeing a psychiatrist for the treatment of his major depression.

A 57-year-old man is seeing a psychiatrist for the treatment of his major depression. During the course of his treatment, the man describes in great detail the fact that he has molested several children. Some of these molestations occurred decades previously, but one, according to the patient, is ongoing, involving a 10-year-old boy who lives in an apartment next door to the patient. Which of the following actions should the psychiatrist take next?

a. The psychiatrist should take no action outside the therapeutic setting but, rather, try to explore the unconscious determinants of this patient’s behavior.

b. The psychiatrist should take no action outside the therapeutic setting because the patient is protected by confidentiality laws.

c. The psychiatrist should admit the patient to a psychiatric hospital and call the boy’s parents to alert them to the danger.

d. The psychiatrist should call the police and have them apprehend the patient at the next treatment session.

e. The psychiatrist should immediately report the patient’s behavior to the appropriate state agency.

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