New York governor signs nation's first gun-control bill since Newtown
"The one change that arguably will have the greatest impact is the amendment to Kendra's Law, which will permit closer monitoring of the mentally ill," he said. That 1999 law grants New York judges the authority to require residents to undergo psychiatric treatment if they meet certain criteria.
The new measures extend Kendra's Law through 2017, expand outpatient treatment from six months to a year and require reviews before such treatment is allowed to expire. New York's mental health professionals will also be governed by a new set of rules that require them to report their patients to the state should those patients exhibit behavior suggesting they could be harmful to themselves or others.
"We're opening up an unprecedented window into what goes on in the therapy room," said Dr. Paul S. Appelbaum, director of the Division of Law, Ethics, and Psychiatry at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. "It would effect a major change in the usual presumptions of confidentiality."