Policy statement - Protecting children from sexual abuse by health care providers

Cindy W. Christian*, Kenneth W. Feldman, James E. Crawford-Jakubiak, Emalee G. Flaherty, Rich Kaplan, James L. Lukefahr, Robert D. Sege, Harriet MacMillan, Janet Saul, Tammy Piazza Hurley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Sexual abuse or exploitation of children is never acceptable. Such behavior by health care providers is particularly concerning because of the trust that children and their families place on adults in the health care profession. The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly endorses the social and moral prohibition against sexual abuse or exploitation of children by health care providers. The academy opposes any such sexual abuse or exploitation by providers, particularly by the academy's members. Health care providers should be trained to recognize and abide by appropriate provider-patient boundaries. Medical institutions should screen staff members for a history of child abuse issues, train them to respect and maintain appropriate boundaries, and establish policies and procedures to receive and investigate concerns about patient abuse. Each person has a responsibility to ensure the safety of children in health care settings and to scrupulously follow appropriate legal and ethical reporting and investigation procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-426
Number of pages20
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2011


  • Sexual abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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