Concluding Comments

We end this chapter by reemphasizing the importance of legal and forensic issues in the pediatric setting. Although this chapter is too short to provide precise answers for every clinical situation, we have reviewed general guidelines that can be applied when consultants are faced with challenging legal and forensic issues. Mental health consultants should establish a consulting relationship with a lawyer familiar with the pediatric setting and understand the specific statutes in their own jurisdictions that are most germane to their work setting. This partnership can have enormous impact on advancing patient care, and consultants should never hesitate to call for legal assistance.

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