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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 51312 Find in a Library
Title: ABUSING PARENTS - LEGAL AND THERAPEUTIC ASPECTS
Journal: MEDICAL JOURNAL OF AUSTRALIA  Volume:2  Issue:11  Dated:(SEPTEMBER 1972)  Pages:597-600
Author(s): R D GOLDNEY
Corporate Author: Australian Medical Assoc
Australia
Date Published: 1972
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency:
Eden Hills, S A 5050, Australia
Australian Medical Assoc
Glebe, NSW 2037, Australia
Sale Source: 9 Murtoa Road
Eden Hills, S A 5050,
Australia
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: BELIEVING THAT CURRENT AUSTRALIAN LAW THWARTS THE EFFECTIVE TREATMENT OF ABUSING PARENTS, A MORATORIUM ON REPORTING IS DISCUSSED, AND SPECIAL COURTS ARE SUGGESTED.
Abstract: IT IS NOTED THAT UNDER THE EXISTING MEDICOLEGAL STRUCTURE FOR DEALING WITH CHILD ABUSE IN AUSTRALIA, THE ABUSING PARENT, WHO IS CONSIDERED TO HAVE SERIOUS PSYCHIATRIC DISABILITIES, IS NOT PROPERLY TREATED. LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS ARE BELIEVED TO RESTRICT THE THERAPEUTIC DISCRETION OF PROFESSIONALS IN A POSITION TO RECOGNIZE THE PROBLEM, WHILE RESTRAINING ABUSING PARENTS FROM SEEKING HELP FOR FEAR OF ADVERSE CONSEQUENCES UNDER LEGAL ACTION. IT IS PROPOSED THAT A THERAPEUTIC PROGRAM BE DEVISED THAT WILL GIVE PROPER CONSIDERATION TO BOTH THE LEGAL AND MEDICAL ASPECTS OF THE PROBLEM MANIFESTED IN THE PSYCHIATRIC CONDITION OF THE ABUSING PARENT. COMPULSORY REPORTING OF CHILD ABUSE CASES TO LEGAL AUTHORITIES LIMITS THE THERAPEUTIC OPTIONS OF MEDICAL PERSONNEL IN HELPING ABUSING PARENTS; THEREFORE, A MORATORIUM ON REPORTING SHOULD BE INSTITUTED TO PROVIDE A PERIOD OF TIME IN WHICH PHYSICIANS WOULD BE FREE TO DEAL WITH ABUSING PARENTS AS THEY DEEMED APPROPRIATE--INCLUDING THE OPTION OF REPORTING. IF PARENTS RESPOND TO OFFERS OF HELP FROM MEDICAL PERSONNEL, REPORTING WOULD NOT BE NECESSARY; IF PARENTS REFUSE HELP AND THE CHILD REMAINS IN DANGER, REPORTING WOULD BE NECESSARY TO EFFECT AUTHORITATIVE INTERVENTION ON BEHALF OF THE CHILD. A SPECIAL COURT IS ALSO SUGGESTED, AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO THE PRACTICE IN WHICH PARENTS ARE CHARGED EITHER IN ORDINARY COURTS, OR A CHARGE OF CHILD NEGLECT IS BROUGHT IN CHILDREN'S COURTS; THE CHOICE IS DETERMINED BY THE SEVERITY OF THE CHILD'S INJURIES. THE PROPOSED SPECIAL COURT WOULD ALLOW A PARTICULAR SECTION OF THE JUDICIARY TO GIVE THE BENEFIT OF ITS EXPERIENCE IN THIS AREA, WITH EMPHASIS ON HELPING ABUSING PARENTS THROUGH THERAPEUTIC PROGRAMS. IT IS EXPECTED THAT TREATMENT WOULD CONSIST OF ADMINISTERING DRUGS, COUNSELING, RELATIONAL SUPPORT, AND SOCIAL MANIPULATION. REFERENCES ARE PROVIDED. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Abusing parents; Australia; Child abuse; Child abuse and neglect hearings; Child abuse reporting; Medicolegal considerations; Psychiatric services; Treatment
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51312

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