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What's the protocol of a physician, in the event of a child's allegation?

Goose Creek, SC |
Filed under: Child abuse

While my wife and I were separated, She had in-trusted two males ages 16 & 28 from church to watch our young children. I noticed a change in my daughter's behavior and took her to see her pediatrician. With tears in her eyes, she tells the doctor those two males took off her clothes and then so-called tickled her in the bedroom. Doctor does a examination and stated, hymen was indeed broken. My son states he was told by them to stay outside alone. I am Heartbroken by this incident. Doesn't the doctor, (bound by Law) have a responsibility to help us?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. I do not know the law in South Carolina. In California physician must report suspected cases of child abuse. I am not sure what you mean by "Doesn't the doctor, . . . have a responsiblity to help us." Not sure what you meant by "My son states he was told by them to stay outside alone." Who told him that the doctor? or the two males?

    In my opinion, you should contact a local attorney to see what the law is in your state about mandatory reporting. As well as pursuing the abuse against these two men and perhaps others, i.e. church/employer.

    I also believe, whatever the law, if you believe your child has been molested, you should report to the authorities and allow them to investigate.

    Your daughter should probably be taken to see a therapist if she has been a victim of sexual molestation or other abuse.

    I wish you the best.

    As general rule physicians (your daughter's pediatrician) are required to chart their findings. I would be surprised of South Carolina is different.

    The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. I am only licensed in the State of California and I am not providing you with specific legal advice. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Being general in nature, the information provided may not apply to any specific factual and/or legal set of circumstances and/or the jurisdiction where you reside. No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. The information provided is of a general nature is not intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney, especially an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. Your question, although you may believe is simple, it is not simple. You require legal advice, please consult with a competent attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.


  2. all medical professionals have a duty to report child abuse, the Doctor may have done that.


  3. It must be reported in SC. You can report the allegations as well. The Police in your area may investigate and with the involvement of a child, DSS may investigate for child abuse and neglect.

    Ian A. Taylor
    The Taylor Law Office L.L.C. | (843) 314-4313
    Pawleys Island, SC
    Estates. Probate. Adult Guardianship. Foreclosure. Insurance.

    The Rules of Professional Conduct for my state only allow me to provide general legal information regarding your question. I am unable to offer my services directly or specific answers to your question. The information provided is not intended to create an attorney/client relationship and shall not be construed as legal advice. Therefore, the resources or information given is provided as general information only. I caution Askers not to attempt to solve individual problems upon the basis of the information contained therein.


  4. There is a requirement that a physician who reasonably believes this type of abuse occurred must report it. However, if the doctor does not make such a report, there is nothing to stop either parent from reporting it. The parents may decide to request the child's medical records so that they can substantiate their claims to the authorities. After the authorities find out about the incident, they should interview various witnesses, including the doctor, to build the case. The case can then go in different directions, which include the arrest of the perpetrators. If the police make an arrest, and the doctor still refuses to cooperate, the prosecutor can use his influence or even the subpoena power of the court to force the doctor to "help."

    The foregoing is for general information purposes and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

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