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Examining medical doctor who failed to report suspected child abuse was not able to later claim immu

In February of this year the Kentucky Court of Appeals reversed a trial court's award of Summary Judgement to a physician who failed to report child abuse. Sadly, the abuse ultimately led to the child's death at the hands of his foster parent. The child's estate brought suit against the physician, who under Kentucky Law [KRS 620.030(1)], had a duty to report the child's injuries. The Doctor

sought dismissal arguing that she was entitled to immunity based upon the law. The Court of Appeals ruled that one is only entitled to immunity if you actually report the abuse first. Unfortunately for the physician, and the child, the physical abuse was never reported.

Kentucky law imposes an affirmative duty on all of us, not just health care providers, to report any person who knows or has reasonable cause to believe that a child is dependent, neglected, or abused to immediately cause an oral or written report to be made to one of numerous state agents, including law enforcement, etc.. A link to the statute is provided above by clicking on the underlined KRS citation.

The next time you see signs of abuse, report it to the authorities, don't assume someone else will. You actually could be saving a child's life.

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