Legal considerations in cases of child abuse

K. C. Halverson, B. A. Elliott, M. S. Rubin, D. L. Chadwick

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Child abuse is a common pediatric problem that can be recognized and treated appropriately by all primary care physicians who care for children. One of the necessary skills in this process involves being prepared to interface with the legal system. The physician is mandated to report suspected child abuse according to his or her state laws. He or she must be aware of the legal recourses for child protection in cases when the child remains at risk. When interacting with the child, a number of legal considerations can guide the physician in obtaining information with history, physical examination, and specimen collection. Finally, the physician may be called to testify. An understanding of how to prepare for court and how to conduct oneself in court is the final necessary skill for the primary care physician who sees children. This article provides the primary care physician with a practical understanding of the legal considerations in child abuse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-416
Number of pages10
JournalPrimary Care - Clinics in Office Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993


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