Mandating reporting laws

In California, the mandatory reporting law requires that healthcare providers send in a report to local law enforcement if they know or reasonably suspect that their patient has been injured as a result of abuse -- listed injuries include firearm injury, incest, battery, stabbing, rape, spousal abuse, torture, etc.

The healthcare provider is then required to call up local law enforcement and tell them about the suspected abuse as soon as possible or send in a written report within 48 hours.

For more information, see Mandatory reporting is a term used to describe the legislative requirement for selected groups of people to report suspected cases of child abuse and neglect to government authorities.

In Pennsylvania, a healthcare provider/manager doesn't have to report suspected domestic violence if the victim is an adult, and if the victim has been informed about mandatory reporting, doesn't consent, and afterwards, is referred to a victim's services agency.

Patients, of course, can always choose to report on their own as well. The report on suspected abuse must include the name of the patient, the patient's location, a description of the patient's injuries, and the name or identity of the abuser (if the identity is known). The report itself can go into more detail about the suspected abuse if the healthcare provider feels that further description will help.

However, the laws are not the same across all jurisdictions.

The main differences concern who has to report and what types of abuse and neglect have to be reported.

However, federal law requires that the healthcare provider tell the patient if a mandatory report is going to be sent out, so that the patient understands and can prepare for local law enforcement to engage with them.

The exception to this federal rule is if telling the patient about the report puts the patient at risk, the healthcare provider doesn't need to tell the patient about the report. Sending in a report to local law enforcement authorities may cause new problems for the patient.The groups of people mandated to notify cases of suspected child abuse and neglect range from persons in a limited number of occupations (e.g., Qld), to a more extensive list (Vic., WA), to a very extensive list (ACT, NSW, SA, Tas.), through to every adult (NT; and Vic. The occupations most commonly named as mandated reporters are those who deal frequently with children in the course of their work: teachers, doctors, nurses and police.In addition to differences describing who is a mandated reporter across jurisdictions, there are differences in the types of abuse and neglect that must be reported.The patient-victim may be looked at as having 'betrayed' the abuser's trust, even though it was the healthcare provider who made the report and not the patient. Healthcare providers and others can and should attempt to guarantee the safety of the patient-victim.Contact security at the healthcare center or contact the local police if there's a real possibility that the patient won't be safe upon returning home.If you want to learn more about reporting domestic violence as well as other options available to you, you should contact a family law attorney in your neighborhood.

Tags: , ,