Imagine parents in a bitter custody dispute: Parent #1, who is not lactating, wants overnight visitation. Parent #2 is still breast/chestfeeding the Baby at night, and wants you to testify on their behalf. Can an IBCLC or other healthcare provider (HCP) testify in court in this dispute? What if the Parent #1 is the party asking the IBCLC/HCP to testify? Can they be paid for their time to prepare for court? What happens if the case gets settled at the last minute? Does the IBCLC need a lawyer when serving as an expert? What about the rights of migrating or refugee families, who are threatened by authorities with separation of parent and child? As our profession grows, more IBCLCs are finding themselves being asked to share their professional and clinical expertise in court cases. This session will examine the IBCLC/HCP’s legal and ethical responsibilities if asked to participate in a lawsuit involving lactation or a breast/chestfeeding parent’s rights. This one is for everyone: While Liz’s expertise is in American law, the concepts are universal, and the IBCLC practice-guiding documents are international in scope.
At the conclusion of this E-CERPs-eligible session, attendees will be able to (1) Identify the IBCLC’s four practice-guiding documents describing legal and ethical obligations to a lactating patient/client; (2) Describe the difference between a fact witness and an expert witness in a legal case; (3) Understand factors preventing an IBCLC from serving as an expert witness in a lawsuit; and (4) Explain why it is not a conflict of interest for an expert witness to be compensated for working on a case