By law, medical doctors are mandatory reporters of child abuse and neglect in nearly every state. Consequently, doctors are among the most common informants for social services agencies. However, recently there has been some concern that some doctors may report parents for minor concerns, but overlook serious acts of child abuse among their own colleagues.
Pediatrician Eli Newberger is a professor at Harvard Medical School. He compares pediatric child abuse to the priest scandal that rocked the Catholic Church.
“We’re dealing, I think, with a systemic problem, in which there is a reluctance to act on the part of colleagues for the various business and collegial reasons, and an organized cover-up,” Newberger said.
* * *“If the perpetrator is one of their colleagues and the reporting would ruin that man’s life and career, they would much sooner not report even if it endangered children,” Newberger said.
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