Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Designing Laws re Protection of Older Persons from Abuse (and writing on a "clean slate" in 2013): What Would You Include?
Recently I have the privilege of joining an international, interdisciplinary team of academics and practitioners working on new legislation for protection of adults, especially older adults, from abuse, neglect and financial exploitation. I hope to report more about our work in the future.
At our first meeting, I was interested to hear the commonality of themes between the U.S. and other countries involved in the research. Aside from the basics, which include definition of terms and scope of duties to report, two themes struck me as persistent and tough, despite each country's efforts to tackle the problems:
- First, whether initial reports of suspected abuse should go to a "civil" investigatory agency, or also to traditional law enforcement (police, garda, gendarmes, sheriffs, etc.).
- Second, the challenges of determining capacity of the possible victim to consent to the investigation (or to accept, for lack of a better word, the consequences of suspected abuse).
Perhaps you have individual concerns about the effectiveness (or ineffectiveness?) of adult protective service laws in your jurisdiction.
We'd love to receive your comments.