The medical profession is a noble one as you help patients regain their health. But many professionals go the wrong way while saving lives. They abuse patients, violate them physically, and indulge in sex crimes. Even worse, they do such acts with children. While such crimes are unforgivable, practitioners are not always on the wrong side. At times, pediatric professionals have to deal with false accusations because young patients misunderstand their intentions. In some cases, parents intentionally drag doctors into lawsuits with malicious intent such as forcing and blackmailing the practitioner.
Although such cases are rare, they still happen. As a pediatrician, you must have a plan to deal with such unfortunate situations as they can affect your career and reputation in the long run. Moreover, the entire situation can be emotionally traumatic, making it even more important to save your name. Here are some expert-recommended tips that can keep you one step ahead of false allegations of child sex assault.
Understand the gravity of the situation
The last thing you should do as a pediatrician is to think that you are not prone to a false allegation. The truth is that you are at a higher risk because young patients are more likely to misjudge. Moreover, a false allegation of child abuse can be destructive for your career and reputation. The social stigma of such heinous acts is immense, even if you end up proving innocence. The case can lead to litigation, criminal prosecution, and disciplinary action by the medical association. Considering these implications, you must take the risk seriously and have a plan to limit it. You are likely to face such events more than once during your career plan, but a preventive approach can save you.
Know the law
Besides understanding your risks as a practicing pediatrician, you must know the local law to be on the right side. Each state has child welfare laws for professionals dealing with children frequently. These include pediatricians, counselors, therapists, teachers, school administrators, and social workers. The law may differ from state to state, so it is vital to understand what comes under the definition of abuse and assault. Knowing the nitty-gritty enables you to steer clear of wrong practices because they can land you in legal trouble even without malicious intentions. You cannot present ignorance as an excuse, so make sure you know and follow the rules.
Seek expert assistance
Child sex assault is a dreadful crime, and even a false allegation is enough to destroy your career. If you face a charge, seek sex crimes attorney legal advice sooner than later. The last thing you want is to let the allegation ruin your career and reputation in the industry. An expert will understand the entire circumstances and devise a strategy to defend you in court. They can also guide you about making police statements and appearing for questioning by the medical association. A robust defense strategy can save your career and clear your name. Moreover, having an expert handling your case gives you peace of mind in such a traumatic situation.
Take preventive measures
Sex crime specialists suggest that practitioners and providers treating young children should not wait for an incident to happen. They should take measures to prevent them in the first place. The best way to do it is by fine-tuning your clinical practices. For example, never examine a child alone, and ensure that the patient’s parents are in the examination room. Also, explain the process to parents in detail and also the child if he or she is old enough. It becomes all the more crucial in the event of an intimate examination, such as checking the genitals or breasts. You must be thoroughly professional during the checkup. If the patient is uncomfortable and refuses to go ahead, do not force them to do it. Consent is another element that keeps you safe from false allegations. It is a good idea to include written consent in your examination process to prevent problems down the line.
A sex crime against a child can scar the victim for life. But being accused falsely as a pediatrician can ruin you professionally. You must have a plan to deal with such allegations, no matter how unlikely they sound. Knowing the law is crucial, and so is staying a step ahead of it. Make sure you do everything possible to avoid such allegations in the first place. You may still encounter them, so be ready with a viable legal defense plan to save yourself from a penalty you do not deserve.