Authors : Pitre, Amita
Published Year: 2006
Indian Journal of Medical Ethics. 3(3), July-September 2006, pp.90-92
Guidelines in India for the examination and treatment of survivors of sexual assault are inadequate. The guidelines that exist for some aspects may not serve the best interests of survivors or of legal procedures. This paper draws on formal and informal consultations to discuss some of the problems that arise due to the absence of standard guidelines in this context. Caring for survivors of sexual offences can involve several departments in a hospital, including casualty, gynaecology, paediatrics, radiology and forensics. Law enforcement agencies are also involved because medical evidence forms an important link in any investigation. Any lacunae on the part of any of these departments may result in a disservice to the survivor. However, a paucity of standard guidelines and reference material in India makes it difficult for health professionals to decide on how best to proceed in such cases.