As per some very strange findings, pediatricians are likely to suspect abuse if they examine a child suffering from fracture in the leg and if the child hails from a lower-income family. However the race of the child would not have a role in the conclusion.
There is yet another shocking finding as per which abuse is common in minority children as compared to that in white children. In fact, the child welfare system in the U.S. does not have a proportionate number of minority children. According to the lead researcher Dr. Antoinette L. Laskey, a pediatrician at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, evidence clearly points to the fact that the patients are handled on the basis of their racial difference. As per her, the reasons are yet not clear but there is something more to do other than the racial factor. But all these findings do not mean that the pediatricians are biased while studying the child’s injuries.
The study conducted was published in the Journal of Pediatrics and it included around 2,100 U.S. pediatricians who were a part of the survey based on one of the four hypothetical cases. Amongst all the cases the common part was the 18-month-old child suffering from an “ambiguous” leg fracture which could be possibly caused by abuse or accident. However the cases were different on the basis of the race of the child and the economic condition of the family. The parents either belonged to the professional background or had working-class jobs.
Racial factor didn’t influence the opinion of the doctors. As per the study, it was concluded by around 45 percent of the doctors that if the child was black then the case could “possibly” or “almost certainly” be abuse. However 32 percent of the doctors were unsure regarding the same and in other case if the child was white then 46 percent of the doctors believed it to be a case of abuse and on the other hand 28 percent were unsure.
But there was certain evidence that proved that the job descriptions of the parents did influence the judgment of the doctors. When the family income was lower then the pediatricians suspected it to be a case of abuse as compared to the 43 percent when the family had higher income.
However it’s hard to predict the response of the pediatricians in the real life scenario.