When you think of the #MeToo movement, you may think of women and celebrities being sexually harassed by co-workers, movie directors, and politicians. Not many people think about sexual harassment involving doctors because patients tend to trust medical professionals. However, many doctors take advantage of their power over patients, violating them in multiple ways.
Indeed, there have been a couple high-profile cases against doctors in recent years, including Dr. Larry Nassar, who was the doctor for the USA gymnastics team, and Dr. George Tyndall, a gynecologist at University of Southern California. These doctors are facing multiple criminal charges for sexual misconduct.
While these physicians are facing repercussions for their actions, not all doctors are. There is a lot of discrepancy in how sexual harassment cases against doctors are handled, with many swept under the rug.
In one case, more than 100 women are suing a doctor for multiple cases of inappropriate behavior. Some of the allegations include forcing patients to strip naked, ungloved rectal exams, unnecessary breast and pelvic exams on minors, and taking sexually explicit photos of female patients.
In this doctor’s case, the state medical board allowed the doctor to voluntarily withdraw from practicing medicine without admitting any wrongdoing. The board investigated the case. The doctor retired from his practice and his medical license was revoked once the investigation was over.
However, this doesn’t happen in most cases. Dozens of cases of sexual misconduct by doctors have been investigated and what usually happens is that the state boards don’t act quickly enough to discipline the doctors. These physicians continue practicing, leaving more victims in their wake. That’s because there are often no warnings about these doctors. Patients are continually put at risk.
Another issue is that many states have weak standards when it comes to standard of care for patients. The punishment is also weak, with doctors getting a mere slap on the wrist. Even doctors are speaking out against the lack of punishment for offending physicians. The discipline is not adequate, and it has devastating consequences for patients, especially women.
Even doctors who try to have sex with women are not punished severely enough, In many cases, the state medical board will allow these physicians to give up their license rather than hand down more severe punishment. Even with probation and restrictions on seeing female patients, the sexual harassment continues.
Maryland residents usually trust their doctors but it can be hard to do so when the physician acts in an inappropriate manner. Doctors do not have free reign to sexually harass their patients.
Sexual harassment can lead to a variety of penalties. Protect yourself and your career with help from Columbia sex crimes lawyer from The Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. We’ll help defend you from sexual harassment claims. Get started with a free consultation. Contact our office by filling out the online form or calling (410) 774-5987. We have two offices to serve you.
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