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Dealing With The Caretaker Whose Judgment Is Impaired By Alcohol Or Drugs: Legal And Ethical Considerations

Bondi, Steven A.;Scibilia, James.; – 2019

This article explains substance-using caretakers may have impaired judgment that can negatively affect their child’s well-being, including his or her ability to receive appropriate medical care. Although the physician-patient relationship exists between the pediatrician and the child, obligations related to safety and confidentiality should be considered as well. In managing encounters with impaired caretakers who may become disruptive or dangerous, It is recommended pediatricians not only fulfill the duty involved with an established physician-patient relationship, but also take reasonable care to safeguard patient confidentiality; protect the safety of their patient, other patients in the facility, visitors, and employees; and comply with reporting mandates. 31 references.