In February 2015, Stephanie A. Deutsch, MD, a child abuse pediatric fellow at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, published a perspectives article in the New England Journal of Medicine in which she reflects upon the challenges of identifying child abuse.
In "A Struggle for Certainty — Protecting the Vulnerable," Deutsch talks about her clinical experiences evaluating suspected victims of child maltreatment, and the complex, challenging nature of diagnosing non-accidental trauma.
Pediatric providers have to take into account many things, weighing medical evidence against underlying health, development and social factors. Beyond recognizing the many possible signs and symptoms, which are sometimes vague, clinicians must grapple with the fact that there’s no single clinical test to “prove” or “disprove” the diagnosis of child abuse.
Read more in a blog post from Dr. Deutsch: http://policylab.chop.edu/blog/struggling-certainty-difficulties-%E2%80%9Cdiagnosing%E2%80%9D-child-abuse