Title

Ethics in Geriatric Forensic Assessment

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date

2018

Journal

Geriatric Forensic Psychiatry

Inclusive Pages

237-343

DOI

10.1093/med/9780199374656.003.0028

Abstract

Forensic psychiatry with geriatric evaluees operates, like general forensic work, at the interface of psychiatry and the law. Psychiatrists apply unique clinical skills to legal questions, so that classic ethics dilemmas arise from the tensions between differing professions. Should psychiatric or legal ethics apply? What ethical issues are most common? When general clinical ethics are insufficient, forensic practitioners in geriatric settings apply broader frameworks for guiding their behavior. Organizational guidance and community and personal values all combine to alert psychiatrists to the unique requirements of elder assessment. Decision-making capacity, guardianship, and end-of-life decision-making join driving and voting to highlight the range of assessments to which experts must apply the habits and skills of the ethical practitioner. Recognizing scientific uncertainty, the vulnerability of evaluees, the need for collateral information, self-reflection, and balance of competing principles come together to define a robust vision of geriatric forensic ethics

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