Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Better Guidance Urgently Needed For Doctors In Child Protection Cases, Say Experts

Date:
September 4, 2008
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Better guidance is urgently needed for doctors in child protection cases to prevent them from being deterred from acting to protect children, says an editorial online.

Better guidance is urgently needed for doctors in child protection cases to prevent them from being deterred from acting to protect children, says an editorial on the British Medical Journal website.

Related Articles


Writing in response to recent high profile cases such as that of Sir Roy Meadow, which have highlighted "the crisis of confidence" developing between the General Medical Council (GMC) and paediatricians, David Foreman and Juliet Williams call for better guidance to prevent doctors from being deterred from raising concerns about child abuse and to restore confidence in child protection processes.

They point out that the number of complaints against paediatricians related to child abuse work increased by more than 500% between 1995 and 2003.

In addition, since 2003, registrations of children for emotional and sexual abuse have increased while those for physical and sexual abuse have declined. This, they say, suggests that doctors may be avoiding work related to abuse for which more detailed physical examinations are needed.

According to the authors, part of the problem is that there is a basic confusion in doctors' duties regarding child protection. Medical law still states that doctors have a duty of care to both the parent and the child, but current paediatric professional guidance incorrectly applies the Children Act principle that the welfare of the child must be placed over all other considerations. In fact, this only applies to the courts, when they make a decision governed by that Act.

Therefore, in child protection cases, doctors have conflicting duties both to the child and to the parents who may not feel that doctors are acting in their best interests, particularly if they are suspects and if retrospectively no abuse is detected. This situation worsens if the doctor is later required to act as an expert witness in court.

Recent hostile media campaigns have added to the pressure on doctors by making it less likely that the GMC will dismiss high profile cases because its duty is to protect the public and also the reputation of medicine while maintaining public confidence in the profession, say the authors.

So what can be done to reinstate confidence in child protection processes and prevent a reduction in child protection?

The authors call on the GMC and other professional bodies to issue more specific guidance for doctors on how to manage these conflicting duties of care in child protection cases.

They also suggest that complaints against professionals in child protection cases should be subject to independent scrutiny before they are referred to their professional bodies.

To avoid unwarranted public criticism the public also need to be better educated about child protection work, so that the dual role of doctors in these cases is better understood, they conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Better Guidance Urgently Needed For Doctors In Child Protection Cases, Say Experts." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 September 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080904215617.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2008, September 4). Better Guidance Urgently Needed For Doctors In Child Protection Cases, Say Experts. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080904215617.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Better Guidance Urgently Needed For Doctors In Child Protection Cases, Say Experts." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080904215617.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins