A new piece of Arkansas legislation, dubbed "Quincy's Law", was passed yesterday that provides for consideration of a differential diagnosis in an investigation involving abuse under the Child Maltreatment Act. This means that parents or caregivers falsely accused of child maltreatment are permitted to obtain a second opinion from an independent, board-certified physician to review the child's medical history and circumstances and provide an objective analysis of the symptoms.
This is a huge step in protecting children in Arkansas from the detrimental effects of needless separation. Before Quincy's Law, parents faced the possibility of termination of parental rights based on the consultation of a single child abuse pediatrician (CAP), without a full expert review of medical results by a doctor qualified to treat patients in the field relevant to the child's medical condition.
A segment from AR HB1405 reads, "If the report of child maltreatment or suspected child maltreatment alleges abuse as defined in § 12-18-103, the alleged offender may: For the purpose of obtaining a second opinion, request that the alleged victim be examined by a licensed healthcare provider who: (a) Did not perform the initial examination, test, or procedure described under subsection (a) of this section; and (b) Routinely provides medical care to pediatric patients." The bill can be viewed and downloaded in its entirety here.
The Family Justice Resource Center works nationwide with individuals facing wrongful allegations of child abuse or neglect due to complex medical conditions, birth trauma, childhood accidents, or faulty investigative practices. If you believe you have been falsely accused, visit our help page to request assistance.