skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 52287 Find in a Library
Title: LEGISLATIVE ASPECTS OF THE BATTERED BABY SYNDROME IN THE VARIOUS STATES OF AUSTRALIA
Journal: MEDICAL JOURNAL OF AUSTRALIA  Volume:2  Issue:7  Dated:(AUGUST 17, 1974)  Pages:235-239
Author(s): B J FOTHERINGHAM
Corporate Author: Australian Medical Assoc
Australia
Date Published: 1974
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: Australian Medical Assoc
Glebe, NSW 2037, Australia
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: THIS ARTICLE REVIEWS CHILD ABUSE LAWS IN VARIOUS AUSTRALIAN STATES AND DISCUSSES DOCTORS' LEGAL IMMUNITY IN REPORTING CHILD ABUSE CASES. A MULTIDISCIPLINARY APPROACH IS SUGGESTED TO COMBAT CHILD ABUSE.
Abstract: LEGAL MECHANISMS IN EACH AUSTRALIAN STATE AND TERRITORY FOR DEALING WITH THE PROBLEM OF BATTERED CHILDREN. THIS MAY EITHER BE BY MEANS OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE CRIMINAL CODE OR BY WAY OF VARIOUS CHILD, SOCIAL OR COMMUNITY WELFARE ACTS. WITHIN THE WELFARE ACTS THE TERM 'NEGLECTED CHILD' IS USED. THIS TERM CAN BE WIDELY APPLIED TO INCLUDE BATTERED CHILDREN. ONLY IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA IS MANDATORY REPORTING OF ABUSED CHILDREN SPECIFICALLY REQUIRED BY LAW (THE 1972 COMMUNITY WELFARE ACT). HOWEVER, QUEENSLAND SECTION 35 OF THE MEDICAL ACTS, 1939 TO 1971, CONTAINS PROVISIONS WHEREBY DOCTORS MAY BE GUILTY OF MISCONDUCT IN A PROFESSIONAL RESPECT IF THEY FAIL TO REPORT OCCURENCES WHICH CAN ENCOMPASS CHILD ABUSE. QUEENSLAND PROVIDES FOR REPORTING ONLY TO THE POLICE, BUT IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA DOCTORS CAN REPORT TO EITHER THE POLICE OR AN OFFICER OF THE COMMUNITY WELFARE DEPARTMENT. THE COMMUNITY WELFARE DEPARTMENT RECEIVES PRACTICALLY ALL SUCH REPORTS. SOUTH AUSTRALIA HAS THE MOST SPECIFIC LEGISLATION CONCERNING DOCTOR IMMUNITY IN REPORTING CHILD ABUSE CASES, ALTHOUGH TASMANIAN DOCTORS ARE COVERED BY THE 1957 DEFAMATION ACT. IN THE OTHER STATES, DOCTORS ARE ALMOST CERTAINLY PROTECTED IF THEY ACT IN GOOD FAITH, BUT THIS IS NOT SPECIFICALLY WRITTEN INTO LAW. TASMANIA'S CHILDHOOD INJURY INVESTIGATING COMMITTEE CAN SERVE AS A MODEL FOR THE OTHER STATES IN DEVELOPING A MULTIDISCIPLINARY TEAM APPROACH IN MANAGING AND TREATING CHILD ABUSE CASES. THE BOARDS SHOULD BE HEADED BY STATE ATTORNEY GENERALS OR THEIR APPOINTEES, IN ORDER TO FACILITATE INTERSTATE COMMUNICATION IN TRACKING HIGHLY TRANSIENT ABUSIVE FAMILIES. REFERENCES ARE PROVIDED. (AUTHOR MODIFIED ABSTRACT--KCP)
Index Term(s): Abused children; Australia; Child abuse; Child abuse reporting; Child abuse reporting statutes; Laws and Statutes; Medical and dental services; Witness immunity
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=52287

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.