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NCJ Number: 51947 Find in a Library
Title: NON-ACCIDENTAL INJURIES IN CHILDREN
Author(s): M H HALL
Corporate Author: Royal Soc of Health
United Kingdom
Date Published: 1972
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: Royal Soc of Health
London, SW1X 7EN, England
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: THE DELICATE ROLE OF THE PHYSICIAN IS EXPLORED AS TO DIAGNOSIS, CONFIDENTIALITY, POLICE INVOLVEMENT, AND LEGAL PROBLEMS IN CASES OF ACUTE AND PROLONGED CHILD ABUSE.
Abstract: THE 'BATTERED CHILD SYNDROME' AS INTRODUCED BY KEMPE IN 1962 IS DEFINED. AFTER DEVELOPMENT OF AN ORGANIZATION TO MANAGE THE PROBLEM AT PRESTON, ENGLAND, IN 1970, THE INCREASED NUMBER OF DISCOVERED CASES INDICATED THAT THERE MIGHT BE APPROXIMATELY 11,000 CHILD ABUSE CASES IN ENGLAND AS A WHOLE. DIAGNOSTICIANS ARE OFFERED MANY SUGGESTIONS FOR DETECTING CHILD ABUSE: SPECIFIC PHRASES USED BY PARENTS TO EXPLAIN A CHILD'S INJURIES, THE USE OF X-RAYS AND PHOTOGRAPHS, SPECIFIC RESPONSES OF THE CHILD WHEN APPROACHED FOR EXAMINATION, THE PLACEMENT AND PATTERN OF MARKS, AND SPECIAL CHARACTERISTICS OF HEAD BRUISES. INVESTIGATION BY THE DOCTOR ON THE FIRST MEDICAL VISIT IS ADVISED, AND FOR FURTHER INVESTIGATION, REFERRAL TO A HOSPITAL IS SUGGESTED. STRICT MEDICAL CONFIDENTIALITY APPLIES EVEN TO CHILD ABUSE IN ENGLAND, BUT THIS DIFFICULTY IN RELATION TO THE MEDICAL CODE OF ETHICS IS BEING CONSIDERED BY THE BRITISH MEDICAL ASSOCIATION. LEGALLY THE ABUSED CHILD IS AT A DISADVANTAGE SINCE HEARSAY EVIDENCE CANNOT BE ACCEPTED IN COURT; THE DOCTOR CAN GIVE ONLY FIRSTHAND KNOWLEDGE, AND THE PARENT WHO ORIGINALLY GAVE THE INFORMATION MAY REFUSE TO GIVE EVIDENCE. THE COURT THUS MAY HAVE NO LEGAL POWER TO DECLARE A CARE ORDER FOR THE CHILD'S PROTECTION, MAKING IT NECESSARY TO RETURN THE CHILD TO THE HOME. IN THE MEDICOSOCIAL FIELD, MORE RESEARCH SHOULD BE DONE ON CHILD ABUSE WITH RECOGNITION THAT NOT ONLY DOCTORS CAN BE OF HELP BUT ALSO HEALTH VISTORS, DISTRICT NURSES, AND MIDWIVES. REFERENCES ARE INCLUDED. (FCW)
Index Term(s): Assault and battery; Child abuse; Child custody; Code of ethics; Crimes against children; Forensic medicine; Great Britain/United Kingdom; Medical and dental services; Medicolegal considerations; Rules of evidence
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51947

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