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Should Canadian physicians have a mandatory duty to report woman abuse?


As in other countries, woman abuse is a leading public health issue in Canada. In recognition of its seriousness and the need to interrupt the cycle of violence, several jurisdictions outside of Canada have enacted mandatory reporting laws for woman abuse that require healthcare workers to report cases. This article reviews the major debates surrounding mandatory reporting of woman abuse with an emphasis on where knowledge is incomplete but would be of benefit when weighing the pros and cons of such laws. We conclude with comments and recommendations with respect to Canada and its health legislation.



Ferris LE, Strike CJ, Desiato C, Dykeman MJ. Med Law. 2001; 20(1):101-21.

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