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This article aims to highlight the current issues surrounding the ethics of child abuse reporting. Child abuse is understood as any form of child maltreatment, including neglect, where common consequences include bruises, lacerations, sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic somatic disorders, brain injury, and acute and chronic medical care. Significant variability exists in determining whether an individual suspects abuse, the level of suspicion, and whether this suspicion should trigger a report. These areas of ambiguity result in an inability to define a clear threshold for mandated abuse reporting. It has been found that physicians often interpret “reasonable suspicion” based on whether the noticeable injury is severe or minor. This poses the problem that the reporting threshold may be understood differently depending on the extent of injury. This is a significant concern, as it is important that mandated reporting regard all instances of harm with the same level of careful consideration to best safeguard children. If there were little downside to reporting and investigating child abuse suspicions, the ambivalence around reporting thresholds might be of minor concern. However, being reported and/or investigated for child abuse has the ability to significantly damage individuals and cause stress and disruption to families. Thus, false positives are important to avoid at all costs. False negatives, however, are just as, if not more crucial to avoid, as missing instances of abuse leave children vulnerable and at continued risk of harm. Education may be one of the best tools to tackle the vagueness of reporting. With thorough education, mandated reporters can become more competent at identifying signs and symptoms of abuse. Although providing education is conceptually straightforward, the diversity and magnitude of mandated reporters makes the concept of such training an enormous undertaking. Thus, this article suggests that finding an estimated probability to serve as the threshold for reasonable suspicion is essential to best prevent both over- and under-reporting. Furthermore, guidance, though difficult to implement, may be necessary for potential reporters to understand how likely abuse must be before reporting is required. 

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