There’s no real-world situation going on here, so no one need fuss about giving legal or medical advice. My interest is half in factual answers, half in opinions, so by the flip of a coin IMHO gets it.
Imagine a pscyhotherapist, Jake, who has among his patients a woman named Deety and a man named Zeb. The layout of Jake’s office is such that patients enter and leave by separate doors, and so far as Jake knows, neither Zeb nor Deety is aware that the other one is his patient. Jake has been counseling each of them for about six months; Zeb was his patient first by about a week; both of them were referred to Jake by another doctor. Deety is seeing a married man, who is sometimes physically abusive to her; Zeb is married and having the latest of many affairs. In their sessions, both Deety and Zeb refer to people in their lives in code, and over time Jake comes to suspect very strongly that they are talking about one another in their sessions. Moreover, Jake also believes that Zeb is less interested in getting help for his problems than he is in bragging about his exploitation of the women in his life. Though Zeb never makes an overt threat, Jake worries about the safety of his mistress if the mistress ever attempts to break off the relationship or tell Zeb’s wife what is going on. Zeb has confessed to having been extremely violent to women in the past in such situations, but claims that such behavior is long behind him.
Okay, that’s the setup. Now the questions:
[li]What is Jake ethically allowed to do here?[/li][li]Ignoring issues of ethics, what would you say is Jake’s moral duty?[/li][li]What do you think you’d choose to do in Jake’s position?[/li][/ol]