James Holmes’ psychiatrist contacted University of Colorado police, expressing concerns over her patient, several weeks before the Aurora movie theater shooting occurred.
Dr. Lynne Fenton sent forth information to a university police officer, who was recently interviewed as part of the ongoing investigation into the shooting. As of now, sources are not sure what was done with the information passed along by the psychiatrist, according to ABC.
Carol Bernstein, a psychiatrist at NYU Langone Medical Center and past president of the American Psychiatric Association, says:
“For any physician to break doctor-patient confidentiality there would have to be an extremely good reason.”
Fenton would have needed to have serious concerns to reach out to police or any others. Under Colorado law; a psychiatrist can legally breach doctor-patient confidentiality if they become aware of a serious and imminent threat that their patient may cause harm to others.
It has become clear that the warning signs for James Holmes were there. We hope that police officers, doctors, peers, etc. will learn from this event and do more when the ‘writing is on the wall’ for a potentially violent individual.