We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
Article |

Massachusetts' New Child Abuse and Neglect Felony Law Repeals Religious Exemption

Andrew A. Skolnick
JAMA. 1994;271(7):489-491. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510310013006.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


MASSACHUSETTS has adopted a law that makes child neglect and abuse a felony and has repealed the section of an existing law that exempts parents from prosecution for religiously motivated medical neglect of children.

Joining South Dakota and Hawaii, Massachusetts is the third state since 1990 to strike religious exemption from its child abuse and neglect statutes. The remaining 47 states and the District of Columbia still have statutes that provide various degrees of legal protection to parents who withhold medical care from children for religious reasons. Many of these religious exemptions inhibit prosecution even when medical neglect results in the preventable death of a child.

The effort to repeal religious exemption in Massachusetts was led by a coalition of more than 25 health, child advocacy, and civil liberty groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Massachusetts Medical Society.

The new law, which was signed by Gov William


Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

First Page Preview

View Large
First page PDF preview




Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

0 Citations

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.