Doctors Who Sexually Abuse Their Patients Do Not Face Stiff Penalties
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that doctors and other medical professionals who have been accused of sexually assaulting their patients receive lenient punishments. Most doctors do not face criminal prosecution, let alone punishment. Furthermore, the overwhelming number of medical boards across the nation take remedial measures but very rarely revoke a physician's license to practice medicine. The average person facing charges such as these would face stiff criminal penalties for such demeaning, egregious, and perverted behavior. If you or someone you love was assault by a physician in Georgia, you should seek the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney who can fight for your rights, protect your dignity, and tirelessly work to vindicate your claim.
Of course, the vast majority of doctors do not commit sexual assault on their patients. They are passionate and dedicated healthcare professionals who have their patients' best interests in mind. Doctors are just like average, everyday people. They have their talents and their faults.
No valid reasons exist to excuse doctors from abusing their power. People are probably surprised to learn that doctors do not face rigid discipline from medical boards on many occasions. There are exceptions, of course, but the rule seems to be that doctors are excused from facing discipline simply because they are doctors. Consider a local example. In 2012 the Georgia Composite Medical Board issued a public reprimand for a Georgia doctor who allegedly sexually assaulted a female patient. The patient saw the doctor for a rash on her back. Instead of simply addressing the medical issue, he took the liberty of reaching under the woman's shirt and fondling her breasts. No chaperone was present to witness the examination. Taking advantage of the situation, he then escalated the encounter by reaching down her pants. The woman reported the groping incident to police who in turn began a criminal investigation.
The Georgia Composite Medical Board neither revoked nor suspended the doctor's license to practice medicine. Instead, they found him in violation of the ethical rules governing the practice of medicine and ordered the physician to attend sexual offender's counseling. They also placed numerous restrictions on his license to practice medicine. Contrast that doctor's story with the tale of a young Georgia woman who was 19 and had to register as a sex offender because she had consensual sex with a 15-year-old male who lied about his age. Whose conduct is more offensive to our sense of justice and our mores? Still, the doctor walked away with less than a slap on the wrist. He still gets to practice medicine and make hundreds of thousands of dollars in salary per year on the one hand. On the other hand, the young woman discussed above must inform the police where she is residing every year for the next 20 or so years because the courts labeled her a sex offender.
Analysis of the decisions from state medical boards and prosecutors offices show that physicians receive breaks when they are charged with criminal conduct. Sexual assault by doctors is dismissed as rare, in the same manner as sexual assault by the clergy and the Boy Scouts. Unfortunately, like those other two institutions, there is more than what meets the eye.
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If you have been sexually harassed in any form, whether at work, by a medical professional, or others, call Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law for your free consultation today. Montlick & Associates has been fighting for justice for its clients throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast for over 36 years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.
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Sources: cited within and
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