Doctors Who Sexually Abuse Patients: Michigan Licensing Board Ignores Complaints
I started this post after talking to friend who said she reported an ER doctor for sexual injury during a pelvic exam, and she was completely ignored by the Michigan Licensing Board, who failed to even speak with her, because “pelvic exams can be uncomfortable.” And since the woman had already been physically injured by the physician but ignored by the State of Michigan’s Licensing Board and the State of Michigan Governor’s Office, she was not sure where to turn.
This situation reminds me of the Dr. Early Bradley situation in Deleware, a doctor who was finally found to have sexually assaulted hundreds of patients, but was never investigated fully when reports first surfaced. The Michigan Licensing Board for physicians seems to be woefully unprepared for any type of investigation at the rate it is going, and I wonder at what point the Michigan Licensing Board Members can be held criminally accountable for covering up or failing to investigate cases of sexual abuse much like the Boy Scouts of America or international discussions of arresting the Pope for the organizations’ parts in covering up sexual abuse or assault. How would one complain about the Michigan Licensing Board anyway?
Just to see how prevalent this problem might be for women, who are already nervous about encounters where they are told to implicitly trust someone just because of the costume change (white coat from dinner jacket), I began to do some research of on-line news stories over the past year and came up with truly disturbing results.
There are physicians who are guilty of sexually abusing or assaulting patients, many with a storied history of complaints against them but a failure of an official action that would prevent more people from being injured. Michigan, look out, because once this opens up, the Licensing Board members will be under intense scrutiny.
Part of what makes me think long and hard about this situation is a conversation I had with a physician recently who was just asked to change her charts to refrain from implicating the head of a local ER, a the ER Supervisor’s request. When my friend, Doc 1, refused to change her charts, the ER Supervisor told her he would force her to “talk with risk management, because lawyers love to get their hands on these types of documents, and peer reviews can’t be subpoenaed. Apparently this ER Supervisor hasn’t read about the Catholic Church’s problems with keeping documentation of crimes away from investigators, and maybe he has missed the whole scandal involving the Boy Scouts, all organizations who were found to have knowingly interfered with investigations.
I am in no position to take action at the moment, but I definitely predict that the practice of medicine will come under similar scrutiny in the US when the public realizes that doctors get away with assault all the time, and that the organization of medicine actively tries to cover up investigations, as certainly the Michigan Licensing Board has, while dumping the blame at the victim’s feet by saying she was upset about her miscarriage. Nice.
In Michigan, if one member of the Licensing Board refuses to investigate, a woman is left with no other options. There is no stated appeals process. There is method for reporting or investigating sexually abusive physicians, and for women, this has tragic results. For the kids in Deleware, their government and licensing board failed to protect them too.
Check out the links below. At some point in time, I will be able to sort all these, but sexual assault by physicians is by no means rare, just covered up–tally ho Boy Scouts and priests!
Dr. Earl Bradley- Deleware–http://spotlight.vitals.com/2009/12/dr-earl-bradley-videotaped-himself-sexually-assaulting-children/