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Rev Bras Psiquiatr. 2006 Oct;28 Suppl 2:S80-5.

[Forensic psychiatry and human rights along the course of life: children, adolescents and elderly].

[Article in Portuguese]

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  • 1Faculdade de Ciências Médicas, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil.



Children/adolescents and elderly are frequent victims of violent acts either because of their frailty and dependency or because they are not considered as reliable subjects to present cases of abuse against the perpetrators. There is an interesting relationship between civil capacities and legal responsibilities of minors and elderly. This is a critical review of minor and elder abuse that also presents and compares the Brazilian laws regarding the rights and responsibilities of elderly and minor subjects.


Abuse may be examined regarding two aspects: 1) predictive factors of their occurrence (a profile of the abused and of the abuser), and 2) consequences for mental and physical health.


This legislation is modern and protective of these vulnerable populations. Examining and diagnosing violence and abuse against children and elderly subjects must be part of the clinical and forensic practice of doctors and especially of psychiatrists.

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