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Not many people still carry pagers in this age of BlackBerrys and iPhones. But doctors on call still do — and so must the in-house attorneys who support them, says John W. McNey, longtime general counsel for Cook Children’s Health Care System in Fort Worth, Texas.

Like physicians whose nights and weekends are broken up by the beeps and buzzes of pagers, McNey says, in-house attorneys at Cook Children’s must be prepared during their off hours to answer pages and advise on all sorts of legal questions, such as what medical staff should do when parents refuse to consent to a child’s blood transfusion for religious reasons or when divorced parents don’t agree on their child’s course of treatment.

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