Ideally, every clinician would have forensic experts and lawyers available for consultation on the challenging legal issues that arise in the pediatric setting. Although feasible in some larger teaching centers, this goal is not realizable for most practices. Mental health consultants are increasingly called on to assume this role. Therefore, consultants need to have a solid working understanding of these legal issues and, where possible, establish an ongoing working relationship with the legal or risk management services responsible for the pediatric setting in which they practice. Together, they can effectively advise and coach the medical team in its responses to the legal and forensic issues presented by patients and their families. State law varies by jurisdiction, and consultants must be knowledgeable about the specific statutes and judicial decisions in their particular jurisdictions. This chapter provides a general orientation to treatment consent and confidentiality in working with children and adolescents and an overview regarding the mental health clinician's role in the assessment of parental capacity and medical neglect in the pediatric setting.

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