Lawyers and Therapists

Lawyers and Therapists

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  • February 11, 2019

The commandment, Do not stand aside while your fellow’s blood is being shed (Vayikra 19:16), presents a major dilemma for the professional whose effectiveness, reputation and livelihood rest on the confidence placed in him by his clientele. Often, a client will reveal to his lawyer or therapist information that is being withheld from someone unjustly.

Whenever possible, a therapist must convince his client that he has a moral obligation to divulge such information to the proper party. Where appropriate, the client should be made to understand that despite the consequences, he will experience a sense of relief after having revealed the information. Moreover, by being honest and open in his personal life, one is able to develop a more positive self-image.

Should the client persist in his refusal to divulge such information to the proper party, the lawyer or therapist may be faced with the painful choice of either allowing a destructive relationship to materialize, or possibly jeopardizing his livelihood and reputation. Consultation with a competent halachic authority is a must in such situations. This would also apply to a physician who is aware that his chronically ill patient is seeking to marry. When bringing such matters before a halachic authority, one should not mention the names of the parties involved unless absolutely necessary.

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