Elder abuse and child abuse and neglect – both physical and psychological – assume a wide range of presentations and can have numerous lasting effects on a victim. The detection of abuse and neglect is not always clear. Emergency medicine, pediatric and other general medicine experts of The Forensic Panel rely on their clinical experience and medical knowledge in assessing patients who present with signs and symptoms that may be quite non-specific. Here, the experience and tenacity of the specialists from The Forensic Panel ensure a thorough evaluation of each individual case’s consistency with patterns of abuse and neglect.
Elder Abuse Assessment
In questions of elder abuse, the emergency physician will pay careful attention to signs of unexplained injury, laboratory findings of inappropriate medications, signs of bruises, welts, lacerations, burns, disease, infection, and other physical findings consistent with elder abuse. An abuse assessment also probes for signs of mental abuse and neglect to make certain a comprehensive investigation is conducted. The Forensic Panel integrates input from medical assessment with history from protective agencies, police reports, documentation of exploited resources, and seeks out eyewitness informants willing to speak to concerned physicians when reviewing elder abuse cases.
Child Abuse Assessment
Child abuse and neglect cases have their own distinguishing features. In child abuse cases an emergency medicine physician will interpret the significance of clinical findings – from fractures, burns, bruises, and trauma to various parts of the body. Emergency medicine, pediatric, and family physician experts in The Forensic Panel are sophisticated as to signs of negligence and psychological child abuse. School records, other medical records, and eyewitness input is supplemented with proactive efforts to identify and interview collateral potential witnesses more comfortable being interviewed by a physician than an investigator.
Peer Reviewed Forensic Child & Elder Abuse Examinations
The Forensic Panel’s peer-review is a valuable asset to the assessment of elder and child abuse and neglect. This oversight ensures maximal diligence to the matter in question, minimizes examiner bias, and disciplines examiners from over-reading information, ignoring quietly significant evidence, or arriving at determinations not supported by prevailing medical understanding. In so doing, The Forensic Panel emphasizes a goal of integrity in the forensic medical evaluation and brings medical certainty to educate the court.