Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 277–310 | Cite as

Index of suspicion: feeling not believing

  • Benjamin Levi
  • Greg Loeben


Throughout the U.S., state laws require professionals who work with children to report cases of suspected child abuse to child protection services. Both practically and conceptually, however, significant problems arise from a lack of clarity regarding the threshold that has been set for reporting. Specifically, there is no consensus as to what constitutes reasonable suspicion, and little direction for how mandated reporters should gauge their legal and professional responsibilities when they harbor suspicion. In this paper we outline the context of the problem, discuss the nature and scope of its conceptual underpinnings, and offer recommendations for moving towards a concrete, practical solution.

child abuse legal threshold mandated reporting reasonable suspicion suspicion 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin Levi
    • 1
  • Greg Loeben
    • 1
  1. 1.Depts. of Humanities & PediatricsPenn State College of MedicineUSA

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