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A Way To Restore British Paediatricians’ Engagement With Child Protection
  1. Ben Mathews (b.mathews{at}
  1. Queensland University of Technology, Australia
    1. Heather Payne
    1. Cardiff University, United Kingdom
      1. Catherine Bonnet
      1. Private consultant, France
        1. David Chadwick
        1. Medical consultant in child abuse paediatrics, United States


          This article draws on international evidence to propose a solution to a key problem affecting UK paediatricians and child protection. Disciplinary actions brought by the General Medical Council against doctors for their testimony in, and or reporting of, cases of suspected child abuse, have caused damaging consequences for the profession and, worse, for child protection. Because of these cases and mounting numbers of complaints, paediatricians are less likely to report suspected child abuse, and are less willing to accept leading child protection roles. This problem demands a solution. Informed by a comparative analysis, this article suggests that enacting a legislative immunity for paediatricians from legal and administrative proceedings where a report of suspected child abuse is made in good faith, is required to restore paediatricians’ willingness to report suspected child abuse and engage in child protection work.

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