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Strip searching by the police: potential for abuse?
  1. Andy Bush
  1. Paediatric Respiratory Medicine, National Heart and Lung Institute Division of Respiratory Science, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Andy Bush, Paediatric Respiratory Medicine, Imperial College, London SW7 2BX, UK; a.bush{at}

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Before any diagnostic examination of a child, every paediatrician routinely obtains consent or assent from that child, as age appropriate, and ensures that a parent or carer is present and gives informed consent to whatever is proposed. There may be exceptions—for example, an older child who is an inpatient and who knows the medical team well and who is happy to be examined without a parent or carer present. In such a case, remote consent from the parent would be sought, and there would be a chaperone present who is known and trusted by the young person. This is elementary paediatrics. The only exception, which would require the clearest justification, would be if an examination or procedure had to be performed urgently because the child was in immediate danger of serious harm or death. In such a case, a wise paediatrician would, where possible, always first seek the opinion of a senior colleague as to the wisdom of proceeding.

However, this does not seem to have crossed the radar of the Police. A recent report has highlighted the shocking …

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  • Funding The author has not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.