To report or not, general practitioners faced with suspicions of incest

To report or not, general practitioners faced with suspicions of incest
Written by madishthestylebar

In twelve years of practice, this is the second time that Caroline Le Petit, general practitioner in a small town of Ille-et-Vilaine, has expressed her suspicions of domestic sexual violence by transmitting “worrying information” – the procedure for alerting the county council of a danger or risk of danger incurred by a minor. At the beginning of April, “A mother of a 9-year-old girl who has behavioral problems called me in panic after catching her in the shower doing things she thought were inappropriate on the level of his sex”, describes the doctor. After a brief discussion with her daughter, who accused adults around her of sexual assault, the mother contacted Dr. Le Petit.

“There were red flags, so I went to Cased [cellule d’accueil spécialisé de l’enfance en danger, au centre hospitalier et universitaire de Rennes]to know how to make a worrying information by e-mail, so that the little one is received quickly at the hospital », she explains. The telephone conversation between the doctor and the mother takes place on Friday morning. From the following Monday, the child is received by the team of this unit specialized in the identification of abuse. A relief for Dr. Le Petit: “I needed a multidisciplinary look at the situation to know whether or not there had been sexual violence. I warned the mother that I was making worrying information, which is never pleasant, of course. »

Read also: Incest: the order of doctors is “not in favor” of a “reporting obligation” for doctors

Confronted with signs of abuse, sexual or not, on a minor, all health professionals are required to guarantee their protection by writing to the unit for collecting worrying information in the department, or by reporting to the public prosecutor in the event of of immediate danger. However, the code of medical ethics conditions this obligation to alert for the doctor: it intervenes “except in special circumstances that he appreciates in conscience”. A vagueness which contributes to the low number of feedback from the medical profession, according to the Independent Commission on Incest and Sexual Violence Against Children (Ciivise), responsible for an inventory and recommendations on the matter and whose next public meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 16 in Paris.

” Weak link “

In its interim report, made public on March 31, the Ciivise is in favor of a clarification of the reporting obligation of doctors. The authority accompanies this recommendation with that of the suspension of disciplinary proceedings against doctors who make reports, in order to protect them from possible complaints from the adult aggressor.

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