elder abuse, neglect, Nova Scotia, Adult Protection Act, legislation, mandatory reporting
The Province of Nova Scotia, in keeping with a growing North American trend, has enacted the Adult Protection Act, a law which makes the reporting of elder abuse mandatory in certain instances. This article examines the practical and ethical justifications for such a law and discusses whether scarce public funding and resources might be better allocated in a different manner to combat this serious, but somewhat misconceived, problem. The authors conclude that the legislation may be inappropriate, since from a practical perspective it is unlikely to alter current behaviour and from an ethical perspective, it is unclear that all ethical concerns have been adequately addressed. Furthermore, the authors argue that the effect of the legislation is to characterize the problem of elder abuse in a manner which may not maximize assistance to those who suffer from such abuse.
Marina Morrow, "Mandatory Reporting of Suspected Elder Abuse and Neglect: A Practical and Ethical Evaluation Stephen G. Coughlan, Barbara Downe-Wamboldt, Robert G. Elgie, Joan Harbison, Pat Melanson" (1996) 19:1 Dal LJ 45.