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Thousands of American doctors caught sexually abusing their patients ... and more than HALF are still practicing


American doctors

(NaturalNews) In January 2002, a Boston Globe report – the first in a lengthy, Pulitzer Prize-winning series – shocked the world of Catholicism to its core when it revealed that a beloved local parish priest had sexually abused choir boys for over three decades.

What's worse, the Globe reported that the offending priest, Fr. John J. Geoghan, was known by the Catholic hierarchy to be sexually abusive of children, but was moved from parish to parish in a concerted effort to hide his behavior. From there, the story grew, and more priests were eventually identified.

The same pattern appears to be repeating itself in the medical community. As reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in its own special report, doctors all over the country are betraying their patients' trust by engaging in physical and verbal acts of sexual abuse. And like the priest scandal, many of those doctors are allowed to continue practicing.

In conducting its national investigation, the paper found more than 3,100 cases of sexually abusive doctor-initiated patient contact, 2,400 of whom were disciplined, but not always run out of the industry.

A bevy of cases

In Missouri, one physician asked a woman who was badly injured in a sexual assault if she liked being tied up and urinated on, and whether she was easily stimulated.

In Texas, a doctor fondled female patients' breasts during exams and pressed his erections up against them.

In New Mexico, for years a physician performed genital exams under anesthesia that she claimed were part of necessary screening for ear, nose and throat patients, even though the patients had not given their consent.

In California, a male psychiatrist put his hand down a female patient's blouse, took out one of her breasts and put his mouth on it, while exposing himself and ejaculating into her hand.

In Kentucky, a male doctor examining an infection on a female patient's abdomen told her she had sexy underwear before he rubbed her genital area and placed his mouth on it.

The paper noted further:

In each of these cases, described in public records, the doctors either acknowledged what they'd done or authorities, after investigating, believed the accusations. While the scale and scope of the physicians' misdeeds varied tremendously, all were allowed to keep their white coats and continue seeing patients, as were hundreds of others like them across the nation.

Some of the worst abuse included rapes by OB/GYNs, psychiatrists who seduced vulnerable patients, fondling by anesthesiologists and ophthalmologists, and outright molestations by pediatricians and radiologists. What's more, the victims were diverse: babies and 80-year-old women; jail inmates; drug addicts; even survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

While some physicians were disciplined after a single episode of sexual misconduct, more than half were not, the paper found.

Having a license issued by government is no guarantee of protection

How does this happen? How are doctors permitted to get away with such regular abuse of their patients?

Investigators found a number of reasons. Some patients stay silent over shame. Some say they don't speak up because they don't think their word will be believed over the testimony of a physician.

Another reason is that nursing and support staff either condone the abuse or don't reveal it, essentially making themselves accessories.

The investigation also found that hospitals and medical organizations do what the Catholic Church did with some priests for decades: They quietly move doctors around or push them out without reporting them to police, in an attempt to protect their own reputations. Sometimes, like the Church, they simply brush off accusations.

Offenders are also often given second chances by medical review boards.

Talk radio host Ronald Scott Bell talked recently about the Journal-Constitution's report, noting in particular that it well-justified his long-held view that government licensure is no guarantee of competence or safety. He's right of course; just because someone has to obtain a government-issued license or permit does not mean he or she won't abuse someone's trust.

While the vast majority of doctors are not predators, the paper noted, you can improve your chances of staying safe in a number of ways, like by avoiding the need to visit the doctor in the first place, with better nutrition.

Sources:

BostonGlobe.com

Doctors.AJC.com

YouTube.com

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