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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 52120 Find in a Library
Title: BATTERED CHILD SYNDROME
Journal: JOURNAL OF FORENSIC SCIENCE  Volume:2  Issue:1  Dated:(JANURAY 1978)  Pages:65-70
Author(s): R H BROWN
Corporate Author: American Soc for Testing and Materials
Promotions Manager
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: American Soc for Testing and Materials
West Conhohocken, PA 19428-2959
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: CHARACTERISTICS OF CHILD ABUSE CASES TREATED AT COOK COUNTY (ILL.) HOSPITAL, DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT OF ABUSED CHILDREN, AND EFFORTS BY THE MEDICAL PROFESSION AND OTHERS TO COMBAT THE CHILD ABUSE PROBLEM ARE DISCUSSED.
Abstract: COOK COUNTY HOSPITAL, WHICH SERVES AN ECONOMICALLY DEPRESSED POPULATION, HOSPITALIZES AN AVERAGE OF 60 SERIOUS CHILD ABUSE VICTIMS EACH YEAR AND TREATS MANY OTHERS AS OUTPATIENTS. CHARACTERISTICS OF A SERIES OF 531 HOSPITALIZED CHILDREN -- AGE, SEX, NATURE OF INJURIES, DEATH RATE, REASONS PRESENTED FOR THE CHILD'S INJURIES, PERPETRATORS OF THE INJURIES -- ARE REVIEWED. PHYSICIANS ARE URGED TO CONSIDER A DIAGNOSIS OF CHILD ABUSE FOR ANY YOUNG INFANT WITH ANY INJURY, FOR ANY CHILD WITH A HISTORY OF MULTIPLE INJURIES OR WITH MULTIPLE SCARS, AND FOR ANY CHILD WHOSE INJURIES ARE OUT OF PROPORTION TO THOSE THAT WOULD BE ANTICIPATED FROM THE HISTORY GIVEN. THE USE OF X-RAYS IN DIAGNOSING ABUSE AND THE MEDICAL TREATMENT OF ABUSED CHILDREN ARE DISCUSSED. THE IMPORTANCE OF AUTOPSIES IN CASES IN WHICH ABUSED CHILDREN DIE AS A RESULT OF THEIR INJURIES IS NOTED, AS IS THE NEED TO ATTEND TO THE FAMILY SITUATION OF ABUSED CHILDREN WHO RECOVER, EITHER THROUGH SOCIAL WORK INTERVENTION OR BY RECOURSE TO THE COURTS. ABSENCE OF ADEQUATE LEGAL COUNSEL TO REPRESENT THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD IS SAID TO BE A MAJOR PROBLEM IN LITIGATING CHILD ABUSE CASES. IT IS FURTHER NOTED THAT PROSECUTORS ARE HANDICAPPED IN OBTAINING THE EVIDENCE REQUIRED IN SUCH CASES BECAUSE CHILD ABUSE IS USUALLY CONCEALED. BECAUSE THE CHILD'S LEGAL REPRESENTATIVE MUST RELY ON CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE, THE FULL COOPERATION OF THE MEDICAL PROFESSION IN PROVIDING MEDICAL RECORDS, X-RAYS, PHOTOGRAPHS, AND SLIDES IS ESSENTIAL. PREPARATION OF SUCH EVIDENCE IN CHILD ABUSE CASES MUST BEGIN AT THE TIME THE CHILD IS BROUGHT TO THE HOSPITAL, WHEN THE PHYSICIAN FIRST SUSPECTS CHILD ABUSE. PHYSICIANS WHO ARE UNWILLING TO TESTIFY IN CHILD ABUSE CASES OR EVEN TO RECOGNIZE AND REPORT CHILD ABUSE ARE CRITICIZED. A CALIFORNIA CASE IN WHICH A PHYSICIAN WAS SUCCESSFULLY SUED FOR FAILING TO REPORT A CASE OF CHILD ABUSE PROMPTLY IS CITED. EFFORTS UNDERWAY TO DEAL WITH CHILD ABUSE -EDUCATION OF THE PUBLIC AND OF PROFESSIONALS, ESTABLISHMENT OF CHILD ABUSE TEAMS IN HOSPITALS AND OF CHILD ABUSE CENTERS AND 'PARENTS ANONYMOUS' GROUPS IN COMMUNITIES, LEGAL REPRESENTATION OF ABUSED CHILDREN ON A PRO BONO PUBLICO BASIS, COORDINATION OF CHILD ABUSE PROGRAMS, ESTABLISHMENT OF DAYCARE CENTERS AND OTHER FACILITIES TO RELIEVE STRESSED PARENTS, PROPOSALS FOR A BILL OF RIGHTS FOR CHILDREN -- ARE NOTED. A LIST OF REFERENCES IS INCLUDED. (LKM)
Index Term(s): Child abuse; Evidence; Expert witnesses; Illinois; Medicolegal considerations
Note: PRESENTED AT THE 27TH ANNUAL MEETING OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF FORENSIC SCIENCES, CHICAGO (IL), FEB 18-21 1975
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=52120

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