Child abuse, attacks on children and young people, but also a lack of mindfulness: The annual conference of the German Society for Child Protection in Medicine (DGKiM) started today at the West Coast Clinic (WKK) Heide. It is also a problem for the medical profession when a child puts himself in danger. And it does not even have to be done by bad faith.
Boy diagnosed with diabetes at age nine
One case study is the now 15-year-old Fiete from Friedrichstadt (Nordfriesland district). He was nine years old when he developed diabetes. Especially in early adolescence, he tried to ignore his chronic illness. “At first, I felt unfairly treated. Because I did not understand why I should do it,” says Fiete. “I ate everything I could find. I did not care. I just did not care.” He recounts how the values then got worse, and he realized, “that at some point it will not end well.”
West Coast Clinic Heide: chief physician warns of negligence
Fiete is a patient of Dr. Thorsten Wygold in the West Coast Clinic. During treatment, the chief physician tries to gain trusting access to the young people and give them careful advice. The doctor warns of an acute danger “if someone who has diabetes and is careless with it also starts drinking alcohol.” The young people could even kill themselves unintentionally. “It’s not like I’m dramatizing. Unfortunately, these cases happen from time to time,” Wygold explains. Fiete, on the other hand, now has good control over himself and his diabetes. His wish: that one day the technology will be so good that he will no longer have to worry about his illness.
Not all doctors recognize abuse
But Congress is also about abuse. Not all doctors are able to diagnose child abuse or abuse, says Dr. Bernd Herrmann, Chairman of DGKiM. “This is not a satisfactory situation.” At the congress, the experts will discuss how structures can be created to improve the protection of children across the board. The lectures will help to raise awareness of the medical profession: During the congress, there will be 26 different lectures, impulses, discussions about changes and necessary innovations of a protective medical treatment that is as child-friendly as possible. And there is a gap between city and country, partly because the number of cases in rural areas and thus the doctors’ practical experience is significantly lower, says Dr. Thorsten Wygold
Protection concept: Schleswig-Holstein clinics are ready
Schleswig-Holstein, according to WKK’s CEO, Dr. Martin Blümke, is already an example for Germany. His colleague Dr. Wygold adds: “Twenty years ago, it was still difficult to find the right contact person when children came to the emergency room with specific injuries.” According to him, today there is a uniform protection concept for the clinics and adolescent psychiatric services in the country.
According to the Northern Statistics Office, the number of cases of sexual violence and violent abuse of children is also rising significantly in Schleswig-Holstein. As an example of an improvement, Wygold mentions the possibility of being able to connect a forensic doctor digitally without the family having to travel to Kiel or Hamburg.
Right to sexual self-determination
In addition to these issues, Congress also addresses the right to sexual self-determination and the physical integrity of young patients. “This ranges from simple examinations and blood tests to complex treatments for hormonal diseases,” says Wygold. Here, too, the Schleswig-Holstein clinics have developed good concepts that should lead to more mindfulness and consideration in children and young people.