Legal and Forensic Medicine in Geriatrics

  • Beverley Ferres
Reference work entry


The legal issues that intersect with medical practice in geriatric medicine are many. Areas such as the assessment of capacity, the treatment and care of patients who are unable to consent or refuse, dealing with possible elder abuse and interfacing with courts or tribunals when required to provide medicolegal reports or to give evidence are just a few.

This chapter illustrates the complex issues faced in the everyday practice of geriatric medicine. A human rights framework and its importance in providing assistance in resolving issues for clinicians, and new challenges to consider, are highlighted. Common legal issues confronting clinicians such as capacity, end-of-life care, and advance care directives are discussed.


Medical Practitioner Geriatric Medicine Secure Environment Alternative Decision Maker Good Medical Practice 
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  1. 1.
    Darzins P, Molloy DW, Strang D editors. Who can decide? The six step capacity assessment process. Glenside SA 5065 Australia: Memory Australia Press; 2000.Google Scholar

Further Reading

  1. Beauchamp TL, Childress JF. Principles of biomedical ethics. 6th ed. New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2009.Google Scholar
  2. Skene L. Law and medical practice: rights, duties, claims and defences. Sydney: Butterworths; 1998. Reprinted 1999.Google Scholar
  3. Accessed 12 Feb 2012.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bendigo HealthBendigoAustralia

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