Volume 21, Issue 1 (January 1976)
Child Abuse Laws: Past, Present, and Future
In 1970, a five-month-old baby was admitted to a California hospital. The X-rays showed that his skull was fractured from ear to ear. His mother explained that the baby had fallen off a bed. The child was returned to the mother three days later. Twice within the next four weeks further medical treatment was required for injuries which included whip welts on the back, puncture wounds in the neck, and burned fingertips. The last time he was brought in he had strangulation marks and no respiration. Spontaneous respiration was restored but the baby suffered extensive brain damage. As a result, this small child will be confined in a home for the mentally retarded for the rest of his life. Time reported that The mother's boyfriend was convicted of child beating and sentenced to from one to ten years in prison (the mother.., was not charged ...). Meanwhile, the child's father brought a $5,000,000 suit against four doctors, for failing to report the attacks, and against the city and police chief ... for failing to investigate when another doctor did make charges.