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60 N.C. L. Rev. 893 (1981-1982)
Privilege Study: An Empirical Examination of the Psychotherapist--Patient Privilege, The

handle is hein.journals/nclr60 and id is 919 raw text is: THE PRIVILEGE STUDY: AN EMPIRICAL
The recognition of a privileged relationship between psychothera-
pist andpatient that grants the patient the right to bar the introduction
of some relevant evidence in judicial proceedings, is based on the as-
sumption that without such an assurance of confidentiality there will be
no effective therapy. In this Article Professors Shuman and Weiner
examine this assumption and the opposing belief that granting a privi-
lege seriously undermines the judicial process. Their research focuses
on the effect of enactment of a privilege statute in Texas, asperceived
by therapists, patients, lay-persons and judges. The authors conclude
that both proponents and opponents of the privilege have overstated
their case, the existence of theprivilege is of consequence tofewpatients
and in few cases. Through their analysis the authors have clarffed the
stakes in the controversy and have made it possible to weigh the com-
peting policy interests more intelligently.
The recognition of a privileged relationship, a rule of evidence that con-
fers upon a person a right to prevent introduction of relevant evidence in judi-
cial proceedings, stands in stark contrast to the predilection of courts to receive
all relevant evidence in judicial proceedings.' A privilege is the result of a
balancing process; the relationship in question and its underlying values must
be thought more important than the accurate outcome of judicial proceedings,
t Associate Professor of Law, Southern Methodist University. B.S. 1969, J.D. 1972, Uni-
versity of Arizona.
t Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Vice Chairman, Department of Psychiatry, Univer-
sity of Texas Health Science Center at Dallas, Texas. M.D. 1957, Tulane University.
This research was supported by a grant from the Southern Methodist University School of
Maureen Armour, Meg Davidson and Rande Herrell, former and present law students at
Southern Methodist University School of Law, provided valuable assistance in the library and
field research for this Article.
1. Testimonial exclusionary rules and privileges contravene the fundamental principle
that the public.., has a right to every man's evidence. United States v. Bryan, 339
U.S. 323, 331 (1950). As such, they must be strictly construed and accepted only to the
very limited extent that permitting a refusal to testify or excluding relevant evidence has
a public good transcending the normally predominant principle of utilizing all rational
means for ascertaining truth. E1kakr v. United States, 364 U.S. 206, 234 (1960) (Frank-
furter, J., dissenting). Accord, Unted States v. Nixon, 418 U.S. 683, 709-10 (1974).
Trammel v. United States, 445 U.S. 40, 50-51 (1980).

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