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A child in detention: dilemmas faced by health professionals

Karen J Zwi, Brenda Herzberg, David Dossetor and Jyotsna Field
Med J Aust 2003; 179 (6): 319-322.

A 6-year-old child, held in detention with his parents pending the outcome of their application for refugee status, manifested psychological distress by repeated episodes of refusing to eat or drink. This case presented clinical and ethical dilemmas for health professionals who were constrained from acting in the child’s best interests by government policy of mandatory detention.

  • Karen J Zwi1
  • Brenda Herzberg2
  • David Dossetor3
  • Jyotsna Field4

  • 1 Department of Psychological Medicine, Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney, NSW.
  • 2 Sydney, NSW.

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