Child Abuse: Ethics Case Study

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Ethics Case Study An eight month old girl arrives at an emergency room in which it was discovered that the child had bilateral fractures on her femur. The hospital determined that there was no child abuse present by having a conversation with the mother. They did not base this decision on anything other than the conversation with the mother. The mother informed them that the child complained about the condition after daycare and from this the hospital staff concluded that the child was not being abused. The problem within this case is that the hospital staff did not go to great lengths to verify the mother's story. If the mother would have been the source of the injures by abusing her child then the hospital could be held liable. Relying solely on the mother's statement could possible put both the hospital and the child at risk. Instances of potential child abuse should be handled with great care and concern. Nurses, as well as many other types of professionals, are required by law to report any incidence or evidence of child abuse or neglect. The nurse or other professional is immune from liability after reporting an incidence of child abuse, but the nurse can be held civilly and criminally liable if he or she fails to make a report of suspected abuse (Lewin, 1994). Therefore, the hospital could be liable for damages and the hospital staff could also be held criminally liable if it was found that they were negligent in their decision to rule out child abuse from the
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