Clinical ethic dilemmas and difficulties in reporting child abuse

Tzu Yi Huang, Wan Lin Chiang, Yi Fei Su, Jui Ying Feng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The number of reported cases of child abuse has been rising steadily in Taiwan. Although child abuse reporting is mandatory for healthcare professionals, Taiwan-specific social norms and traditional cultural values make the decision to report such abuse more complex and difficult. We used Jonsen's four topics method to examine a suspected case of child abuse and to analyze its associated dilemmas and ethical difficulties. We then discussed the identified conflicts among the three aspects of cultural values, legal obligations, and personal values. Findings indicate that healthcare professionals experience dilemmas among these three aspects. Reporting suspected child abuse appears the best resolution after considering and balancing the principles of non-malfeasance, beneficence, fidelity and follow-up care. Once reported, resources can be provided to the affected child and his/her family. This case analysis provides a reference for healthcare professionals to deal with child abuse cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-110
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nursing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Aug 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nursing(all)

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