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1 year ago
The Number of Doctors Getting Away with Sexual Abuse Will Shock You

Have you ever been abused by a doctor? Please take our anonymous survey here.

When you put your body in the hands of a doctor, there is an almost innate sense of unspoken trust. But according to a chilling new report by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, that trust is being widely abused.

For their investigation, the AJC analyzed more than 100,000 documents alleging sexual misconduct and abuse by thousands of doctors dating back to 1999. In one of the documents, female patients accused a male doctor in Texas of fondling their breasts and pressing his erection against them during exams. In another, a female doctor was accused of performing genital exams on patients who were under anesthesia for ear, nose, and throat procedures. 

From the documents, the reporters identified 3,100 doctors who have been publicly disciplined by the medical boards in their states for sexual misconduct. A hefty 2,400 of those medical professionals were penalized for violations having to do with patients. The rest were accused of crimes including possessing child pornography and sexual harrassment of employees. And of that 2,400 charged with patient violations, half are still practicing today. WTF.

RELATED: These Stories of Sexual Abuse in Operating Rooms Are Horrifying

In addition to these grim facts, the issue of sexual misconduct in medicine is largely going unaddressed. According to the report, only 11 states require hospitals to contact the authorities in cases of abuse. Instead, medical boards often wipe records and send doctors found guilty of sexual crimes to therapy. While therapeutic treatment is better than nothing, it is far from an adequate solution.

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The AJC likens their findings to the systematic and often ignored legacy of abuse by priests. "Over and over again, records show, predatory physicians took advantage of a doctor’s special privilege—the daily practice of asking trusting people to disrobe in a private room and permit themselves to be touched," reads the report.

Ideally, when you visit a doctor (who, remember, has taken an ethical oath), this should never occur. But what do you do if it does happen to you?

If you feel you’ve been abused, you have options: You can press charges, file a lawsuit based on assault, or file a medical malpractice claim (read more about how experts handle abuse from doctors).

RELATED: You Won't Believe How Doctors Body-Shamed This Woman During Surgery

The key thing to remember is that we need to address the issue. Speaking up and speaking out is the first step to putting a stop to this disgusting breach of trust.

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