German paediatricians want law changed to make it easier to report child abuse

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 22 December 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a3116
  1. Ned Stafford
  1. 1Hamburg

    German paediatricians are asking the government to relax confidentiality laws to give them the legal power to report cases of suspected child abuse without informing parents. The matter has been discussed for the past year and is on the agenda of a federal cabinet meeting in January as part of a child protection initiative.

    Ulrich Fegeler, a Berlin based doctor who is spokesman for the German Association of Paediatricians, says that under current confidentiality laws doctors are legally required to notify police or the local department of youth only in cases where there is proof of physical or sexual abuse or neglect. But in …

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