There’s a to issue that Kersh Law Firm wants to focus on. It centers on doctors who diagnose child abuse and the events that happen after. This topic elicits a range of emotions from people, both involved and uninvolved in these circumstances.
Before anything, people should be aware that there is today, a growing number of doctors who specialize in a unique mix of medicine and forensic science. They are both physicians and investigators who use medical imaging, are present during witness interviews, and check family histories to diagnose the condition of a child, as well as its cause.
The reason why Kersh Law Firm mentions these pediatricians first is because only a small percentage of parents in the U.S. are aware these doctors exist. The truth is these pediatricians, who also practice forensics, can be found in almost every major children’s hospital in the country. They work hand-in-hand with child welfare groups, law enforcement, and other similar organizations. They sometimes give their expert opinions through reports and testify in courts, as significant support in a country-wide effort to extinguish child abuse.
However, Kersh Law Firm notes, there are some cases wherein these pediatricians can get things wrong – horribly wrong. When parents are wrongfully accused of child abuse, the effect on the family can be quite devastating. Not only can a mistaken accusation rip a family apart and take away children from otherwise innocent parents, but it can also compound problems by laying a criminal record down on the accused.
While these doctors are highly-specialized, and in all probability, more often than not correct in their diagnosis, some cases aren’t as clear as others. And while the intent of the forensic pediatricians may be noble, there are some instances when their zeal, as well as the zeal of untrained child welfare workers, can lead to a rushed (and possibly wrong) conclusion, adds Kersh Law Firm.
One silver lining, though, if one can call it that, is that cases wherein parents who are indeed guilty are found to be innocent due to misdiagnosis, are exceptionally rare.
Below are two cases, Kersh Law Firm found from an NBC investigative effort, wherein a misdiagnosis of child abuse tore a family apart.
The case of three-month-old Zoey Grant
When Zoey Grant’s parents brought the three-month-old baby to the hospital to show a bruise on her bottom, the Dallas pediatrician reported the case as child abuse. But what the doctor didn’t put in the report was that the parents were the first to notice the bruising, that they brought Zoey to the doctor, and that the injury might have happened in daycare. Zoey and an older sibling were placed in foster care.
The case of five-month-old Mason Bright
A pediatrician in Houston reported what had happened to Mason Bright as child abuse after the mother brought the five-month-old infant in after an accidental fall in the driveway. Mason had two skull fractures and subdural bleeding. Child Protective Services took the boy and his older sister from their mother. Later tests would show that Mason suffered from a clotting disorder that could lead to excessive bleeding. It was also later proven that a skull can sustain multiple fractures after a fall.
On a side note, Kersh Law Firm acknowledges Slate & Associates for providing valuable information for this article.
Texas-based Kersh Law Firm, P.C., specializes in family law and serves clients in Harris, Brazoria, and Fort Bend Counties. It is the firm’s mission to provide each handled case comprehensive legal advice and strategy, as well as offer every client exceptional customer service. For more on the firm, visit this page.
Tags: child abuse, diagnosing, diagnosis, rewards, consequences, risk
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