Science & Tech

Medical records play role in domestic violence legal cases

1 min read

Yet doctors unclear on documentation rules

Two researchers studied nearly 100 medical charts of women who had previously been identified as abuse survivors. They found that physicians frequently did not screen for abuse and that the notes taken would not mean much in a courtroom. “The potential risks of documentation to the clinician or the patient appear to be more salient to clinicians than the potential benefits,” write the report’s authors. “This is not surprising given that they have received little information about why and how medical records can assist abuse survivors in legal settings.” “This is really one of the first times that a legal perspective in a broad sense has been applied to medical records with respect to domestic violence,” said researcher Nancy Isaac.