Intended for healthcare professionals


Doctors must do more to identify child abuse, Dutch association says

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 15 September 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a1679
  1. Tony Sheldon
  1. 1Utrecht

    The Dutch Medical Association is urging its members to speak out if they suspect child abuse. Between 100 000 and 170 000 cases, resulting in at least 50 deaths, are believed to occur in the Netherlands each year. But only about 2% of reports in 2007 originated from doctors.

    Peter Holland, the association’s chairman, said, “There are far too few reports of child abuse by doctors, and there must now be a real change.” The association argues that doctors, through their special contact with families and children, bear a great responsibility and can make an important contribution in identifying children who are at risk.

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