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Concerning mistreatment of older people: clinical and ethical thoughts based on a study of known cases.

Abstract : Following a report by the Health Ministry recommending a greater implication of general practitioners (GP) in the diagnosis and care of mistreated older people, we wanted to evaluate what was actually their role in this matter. A study was made of files of mistreated older persons referred to the social services in a Parisian suburb. For each file, we noted who raised the first suspicions of mistreatment, who diagnosed it, what happened next, and what precisely the GP's role was. Out of 600 files, we found 12 cases, concerning 14 persons (two couples). Although all the patients had health problems requiring frequent consultations with their GP, none of these situations were diagnosed by the GP. In all cases, the GP played only a secondary role, if at all. The following points are discussed: The link between family problems and history cannot be ignored in the follow up of such situations. The GP's role is discussed regarding clinical knowledge of mistreatment and the legal rules they have to deal with. Our results bring to light how the balance between the person's autonomy and the necessary direct action is especially delicate in this field.
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https://www.hal.inserm.fr/inserm-00255925
Contributor : Nathalie Duchange <>
Submitted on : Thursday, February 14, 2008 - 2:30:13 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, April 25, 2020 - 1:35:09 AM

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Irène François, Grégoire Moutel, Isabelle Plu, Pierre Pfitzenmeyer, Christian Hervé. Concerning mistreatment of older people: clinical and ethical thoughts based on a study of known cases.. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Elsevier, 2006, 42 (3), pp.257-63. ⟨10.1016/j.archger.2005.07.005⟩. ⟨inserm-00255925⟩

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