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NCJ Number: 50884 Find in a Library
Title: PREPARING FOR AND TESTIFYING IN A CHILD ABUSE HEARING
Journal: CLINICAL PEDIATRICS  Volume:16  Issue:11  Dated:(NOVEMBER 1977)  Pages:1057-1063
Author(s): H C 3RD LEAKE; D J SMITH
Corporate Author: J B Lippincott
United States of America
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 7
Sponsoring Agency: J B Lippincott
Philadelphia, PA 19105
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS ARTICLE DISCUSSES THE PERSONAL OBLIGATIONS AND CONSIDERATIONS A PHYSICIAN SHOULD BE AWARE OF WHEN BEING EXPOSED TO A CASE OF CHILD ABUSE, INCLUDING GUIDELINES ON ABUSE HEARINGS.
Abstract: SOME PHYSICIANS WILL NOT COOPERATE WITH ATTORNEYS, COURT WORKERS, AND PERSONS FROM CHILD PROTECTION SERVICES BECAUSE THEY DO NOT LIKE TO 'BECOME INVOLVED.' IN MOST STATES THE LAW COMPELS A PHYSICIAN TO REPORT AND TESTIFY IN ABUSE CASES. INFORMATION ON LEGAL PROCEDURES CAN BE OBTAINED FROM THE JUVENILE AUTHORITIES. UPON HOSPITALIZATION THE FOLLOWING STEPS SHOULD BE TAKEN IMMEDIATELY: PHOTOGRAPH CHILD'S CONDITION; CONTACT SOCIAL WORKER, PSYCHIATRIST, AND PSYCHOLOGIST; ORDER AN X-RAY SKELETAL SURVEY; AND TAKE NOTES ON PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS OF THE CHILD'S MEDICAL AND PHYSICAL PROGRESS AS WELL AS PERSONAL INTERACTIONS SUCH AS BETWEEN THE CHILD AND PARENTS. ONCE A PHYSICIAN HAS BEEN SUBPOENAED TO TESTIFY, IT IS NECESSARY TO BECOME FAMILIAR WITH ALL THE INFORMATION PERTINENT TO THE CASE SO AS TO DETERMINE THE DEGREE TO WHICH HE OR SHE MAY BE INVOLVED. A WRITTEN REPORT STATING RECOMMENDED TREATMENT SHOULD BE PREPARED AS EVIDENCE WHETHER IT IS A FORMAL HEARING OR A 'STIPULATION.' GUIDELINES FOR PHYSICIANS WHO ARE TO TESTIFY IN COURT ARE PROVIDED, INCLUDING HEARING PROCEDURES AND THE PRACTICE OF SCHEDULING REVIEW HEARINGS OF ABUSE CASES AT SET INTERVALS. THE PHYSICIAN SHOULD BE AWARE OF THE FOLLOWING COURT PROCEEDINGS AND CONCEPTS WHICH CAN STRENGTHEN OR WEAKEN TESTIMONY: (1) EXAMINATION AND/OR CROSS-EXAMINATION; (2) QUALIFICATIONS FOR PROVIDING 'EXPERT TESTIMONY'; (3) IMPLICATIONS OF THE PHYSICIAN'S MALICE TOWARD THE PARENTS; (4) INTENTIONAL ANTAGONISM BY DEFENSE COUNSEL; (5) OBJECTIONS BY COUNSEL; (6) IRRELEVANT AND INTIMIDATING QUESTIONING; (7) MISLEADING REFERENCE TO HEARING AS CRIMINAL RATHER THAN CIVIL PROCEDURE; (8) MISUSE OF HEARSAY TESTIMONY; (9) CLEAR AND CONCISE RESPONSES; (10) COURTEOUS MANNER; (11) WITNESS EXAMINATION OF MATERIALS QUOTED BY AN ATTORNEY; (12) IMMEDIATE REASONABLE CHALLENGE OF ATTORNEY'S DOUBTFUL STATEMENTS; AND (13) ACCURATE EXPLANATION AND DEMONSTRATION OF PERSONAL REPORTS. REFERENCES ARE PROVIDED. (JCP)
Index Term(s): Child abuse; Citizen crime reporting; Expert witnesses; Juvenile dependency and neglect; Laws and Statutes; Medicolegal considerations; Testimony; Trial procedures
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50884

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