Mental health professionals are required by law to keep patient disclosures confidential, yet the law also requires them to “warn and protect” anyone their patient is likely to harm. A Duty to Betray plunges Dr. Ricardo Ruiz, a young psychologist just beginning his career, squarely into the middle of these two seemingly irreconcilable legal obligations.
Set inside the famed Camarillo State Hospital on California’s Central Coast, A Duty to Betray draws the reader into this legal, ethical, and ultimately moral dilemma when Mr. Tran, one of Dr. Ruiz’ patients, reveals a potentially lethal secret during therapy. Cat and mouse confrontations between the two thrust the “tell — don’t tell” conflict into sharp definition since Dr. Ruiz knows that, either way, his decision will have deadly consequences.
About the Author
Dr. Kelly Moreno is a professor of psychology at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. He is also a psychologist in private practice and conducts Mentally Disordered Offender Evaluations for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. He has worked at psychiatric facilities in Wash., D.C., Utah, and California, and published over two-dozen articles on psychopathology and its treatment. He lives with his wife and daughter in San Luis Obispo, CA. A Duty to Betray is his first novel.