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Saturday, July 30, 2016

Sexual abuse by doctors sometimes goes unpunished

Associated Press
Originally published July 6, 2016

Sexual abuse by doctors against patients is surprisingly widespread, yet the fragmented medical oversight system shrouds offenders' actions in secrecy and allows many to continue to treat patients, an investigation by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has found.

The AJC obtained and analyzed more than 100,000 disciplinary orders against doctors since 1999. Among those, the newspaper identified more than 3,100 doctors sanctioned after being accused of sexual misconduct. More than 2,400 of the doctors had violations involving patients. Of those, half still have active medical licenses today, the newspaper found.

These cases represent only a fraction of incidences in which doctors have been accused of sexually abusing patients. Many remain obscured, the newspaper said, because state regulators and hospitals sometimes handle sexual misconduct cases in secret. Also, some public records are so vaguely worded that patients would not be aware that a sexual offense occurred.

The article is here.