Even today, the standard method used by states to estimate its mentally retarded population is simply to take 2. Clinical documentation of sexual abuse and sexually transmitted disease is an important part of a routine examination since many such individuals are indeed sexually active. Since the current national trend is to integrate citizens with mental retardation into the community away from institutionalized care, it is essential that all physicians have a basic understanding of the unique medical and legal ramifications of their clinical diagnoses. Sexuality and the mentally retarded adolescent. Unlike the IQ test, which is given in one setting, this evaluation may require several observations and several examiners to compile a composite of the individual's functioning.
These roles lie predominately in the areas of IQ, opinions of competency, and sexual history documentation. Harris was taking regular birth control pills. A clinically documented case of sexual abuse involving a mentally retarded individual has the potential for strong legal action in the future. Physicians should be aware that many such individuals may be taking psychoactive medications. The choice of sterilization procedure among married couples. Sterilization and the retarded female: Unlike the IQ test, which is given in one setting, this evaluation may require several observations and several examiners to compile a composite of the individual's functioning. As with any standardized test, differences in culture, environment, and language may bias results. Defining Legal Consent Legal consent, like medical informed consent, is greatly influenced by the context of the incident in question. The highest educational level achieved is below the 1st grade, and the group is considered not educable. Mastering Skills for Clinical Practice. A competent individual is able to give informed consent. Sterilization of the mentally retarded--a review. Parents' attitudes toward sterilization of their mentally retarded children. Sexuality, rape, and mental retardation. Clinical documentation of sexual abuse and sexually transmitted disease is an important part of a routine examination since many such individuals are indeed sexually active. It is crucial for physicians to recognize that mentally retarded citizens, from childhood to adulthood, have a unique biological profile that makes them particularly vulnerable to sexual abuse. Abstract The primary care physician has a vital role in documenting and preventing sexual abuse among the mentally retarded populations in our community. Finally, medicine's role in the courtroom will be elucidated with recommendations to the primary care physician on how to play an advocate's role in the clinical setting. Also, physicians may serve as expert witnesses in the courtroom to provide professional insight into the mental and emotional status of an individual in question. LEGAL ANALYSIS Laws protecting the mentally retarded individual across the nation are consistently characterized by both medical and legal scholars alike as vague, inconsistent, and inadequate in their protection of vulnerable individuals from sexual abuse. Open in a separate window Third, since mental retardation is defined as a disruption of a child's developmental process, onset must occur before the age of full mental development, i. The research conducted for this publication was initially undertaken at the direction of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit MFCU by a team of medical, legal, and pharmacy students involved in an internship program during the summer of As the legal arena is currently revising laws concerning rights of sexual consent among the mentally retarded, it is essential that determinations of mental competency follow national standards in order to delineate clearly any instance of sexual abuse. It would further affect the civil liberties of all conserved persons.
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