Guardianship

If there are specific needs that one is unable to attend to, courts will wish to know of a pertinent condition in deliberating whether to appoint a guardian. The nature of the condition potentially dictates the likelihood that the appointment of a guardian is irreversible.

Forensic assessment for the utility of a guardian is a compassionate alternative to the logical step of referring a person to a nursing home. Guardians are appointed to meet specific needs that a person has which otherwise interfere with independent living. Appropriately arranged guardianship facilitates an impaired personís continuing to live in the community in as autonomous a fashion as possible.

Dementia, other incapacitating neurological events, or progressive disease, for example may affect a personís capacity to meet his or her own needs. An otherwise capable person may no longer be able to keep track of a needed medication regimen, may have difficulty cleaning the home, or may even be unable to find oneís own address, for example.

The forensic examination for guardianship may rely upon an array of clinical tools including neuroradiological techniques such as computer tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron-emission tomography (PET), (SPECT) and ultrasound, as well as a psychiatric assessment of medical history and medicines, social attachments, home environment, self-care, and finances all provide clues to the offenderís mental condition. Working together a psychiatrist and neuroradiologist can more specifically clarify the condition warranting the appointment of a guardian, and what would a more optimistic prognosis for an examinee to resume a more autonomous decision-making.

Evaluations are diligently investigated with sensitivity, practicality, and ensure an attention to subtlety so vital to an appraisal of a patientís real needs. The Forensic Panelís peer-review system ensures that bias is contained and that sufficient diligence informs the neuroradiologistís assessment.