Elder Justice Roundtable: Opening Remarks
Introduction of Daniel Marcus:
D. Jean Veta, J.D., Deputy Associate Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice
Daniel Marcus, J.D., Associate Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice
David R. Hoffman, J.D., Assistant United States Attorney, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Laura Mosqueda, M.D., Director of Geriatrics, Associate Clinical Professor of Family Medicine University of California-Irvine Medical Center
D. Jean Veta, Deputy Associate Attorney General, convened the roundtable. She stated that this elder justice forum was the first of its kind. She then introduced Daniel Marcus, Associate Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice.
Mr. Marcus welcomed participants and explained that the roundtable reflected the determination of Attorney General Janet Reno to transform the department into a "ministry of justice" in which "the traditional activities at the Department of Justice need to be melded with social service programs and health programs and science and technology efforts to really provide a comprehensive justice program."
Marcus noted that the gathering included experts from a wide array of fields, including geriatrics, forensic pathology, psychiatry, pediatrics, nursing, social work, psychology, sociology, gerontology, family medicine, internal medicine, social science, and Federal, State and local law enforcement. Many of the participants, he noted, "have done groundbreaking research in this area, developing creative multidisciplinary response teams and clinical practices, and pursuing vital prosecutions and training efforts."
While the number of older Americans is expected to more than double in the next 30 years, Marcus noted, "we have a long way to go" in detecting and diagnosing elder abuse and neglect, developing a sufficient research base to help doctors and other professionals intervene and treat it appropriately, educating professionals in many fields, and developing multidisciplinary teams that can respond to elder abuse effectively.
Two moderators guided the day's discussions: David Hoffman, an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and Dr. Laura Mosqueda, Director of Geriatrics and Associate Clinical Professor of Family Medicine at the University of California-Irvine Medical Center.
The roundtable discussion focused on four topics:
- Detection and Diagnosis: What Are the Forensic Markers for Identifying Physical and Psychological Signs of Abuse and Neglect?
- Application of the Forensic Science: Integrating Medical Forensic Evidence With Law Enforcement
- Education: What Training Is Needed for healthcare and Law Enforcement Professionals on Forensic Elder Abuse and Neglect Issues?
- Research: Setting the Research Agenda to Improve the Forensic Science of Elder Abuse and Neglect