Neglect and Medical Neglect
A general statement about abuse: Those who hold the least power
and resources in society are most often those who are abused
(women, children, disabled, elderly). Bear in mind that anyone can be
abused, this includes men and women, rich or poor, educated or
illiterate, employed or unemployed - abuse is no respecter of persons
or boundaries, and can occur at any time during a person’s life.
Not having one’s basic needs of food, clothing, shelter, or
medical/dental attention met; leaving a child alone when too young;
emotional needs of touching and talking are unmet.
Difference between neglect and other types of abuse
The biggest difference between physical or emotional abuse and
neglect is the fact that neglected children do not receive attention from
their parents. Abused children receive attention even though it is
negative attention, the parent is aware of the child, energy is directed
toward the child. Neglectful parents seem to not be aware of the child,
they withhold attention, do not stimulate the child, rarely make physical
or emotional contact.
The emotional problems caused by parental neglect of a child are
some of the hardest things for a child to overcome.
Impact of neglect on children
- deprivation leading to detachment (the inability to emotionally attach
- massive repression of feelings
- impaired ability to empathize with others
- decrease in general intellectual ability (due to lack of cognitive
stimulation by the
Medical Neglect - when parents either do not understand or
deliberately ignore medical or dental problems in their child or children
and do not get them medical or dental care or attention. Medical
neglect is often associated with general neglect but can occur
separately from general neglect. A parent can care for a child in all
other ways and still neglect medical or dental care of their child.