A report published by the Atlanta-Journal Constitution have delved into the speculation that the medical community within the US are failing to address patient sexual abuse.
Investigations have looked at over 100,000 documents and records that have identified more than 3,100 doctors who were publicly disciplined after being accused of sexual infractions. They state that although majority of doctors don’t sexually abuse patients, it happens far more often than we think.
The biggest factor with the reports are the fact that most of the doctors that sexually abuse patients, more often than not get away with it. AJC reported that “Hospitals and health care organizations brush off accusations or quietly push doctors out without reporting them to police or licensing agencies”. They found in America that “of the 2,400 doctors publicly disciplined for sexual misconduct, half still have active medical licenses today”.
The offenses range from sexual assault, child pornography and harassment. Only 11 of the 50 states in America require medical officials to report any suspicion of sexual abuse to police or prosecutors. Apparently sexual abuse is so rarely punished that people are saying this is showing medical practitioners that sexual abuse is something they can do and get away with.
The reports have spoken about patients/victims of sexual abuse being completely shocked when their doctor has abused them. “We just do not want to believe, first of all, that a doctor is capable of this, and secondly that their colleagues and supervisors will not address this immediately and effectively when we report it”.
So why don’t all medical officials have to report any signs of sexual abuse? How are doctors simply able to either keep working and carry on abusing other patients, or at best be quietly let go but do it somewhere else?