A new sex abuse scandal has rocked the medical field as 2,400 doctors throughout the nation have been sanctioned for abusing their patients, according to a new report released by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The report surveyed records from all 50 states to reveal how widespread the issue really is. Their findings indicate that state medical boards allowed nearly half of the sanctioned physicians to keep their licenses to practice medicine even after accusations were deemed true.
Sadly, some of the accused doctors rank among the country’s worst sexual predators with hundreds, and in some cases, thousands of victims, according to Carrie Teegardin, a reporter on the newspaper’s investigative team.
These incidents have mostly flown under the radar due to the fact that state regulators and hospitals tend to handle the situations secretly.
“We found a culture of secrecy,” Teegardin reportedly said. “It’s treated with a sort of secrecy that we don’t see in other arenas when we’re talking about allegations this serious. It’s still swept under the rug in so many cases.”
Although the report notes that there are about 900,000 licensed doctors practicing medicine — so the 2,400 implicated in this scandal only make up a small fraction of them — this kind of misconduct on any scale is deplorable.
Furthermore, there may be more hidden cases that this particular report did not unveil.
Taking advantage of vulnerable people seeking medical attention tarnishes the reputation of the entire health industry because patients will never know who to trust.
The American Medical Association has been mostly silent on the subject and shut down ABC News’ requests for a statement. As this issue becomes of more public concern, they won’t be able to continue hiding.
Some of the high profile cases that made national headlines include that of Dr. David Newman, former head of clinical research at Mount Sinai hospital emergency room, who is accused of abusing four of his female patients including one that he allegedly drugged while she was in his care.
Although he has pleaded not guilty, he faces up to seven years in prison if a judge convicts him.
In another case, Riverside, California’s Dr. John McGuire is accused of 26 felony counts of sexual assault. He’s currently being held in jail on a $3 million bond and his license has been suspended by the state medical board, according to ABC News.
McGuire is accused of assaulting a patient who was recovering from the effects of anesthesia, touching her breasts with an ungloved hand to feel for “swelling.” He has also been accused of at least three forcible rapes, among other incidents.
The Journal-Constitution was right to bring this issue to light. People deserve to know what kind of scoundrels they may be seeking help from when they go to the doctor.
Banner Photo Credit: Pixabay user DarkoStojanovic