Sexually Abusive Doctors Must Lose Licenses: Petition

A petition to stop a doctor from abusing women is quickly gaining signatures on Care2 right now https://www.thepetitionsite.com/724/287/788/sexually-abusive-obgyn-must-lose-his-license/.  An OBGYN practicing at the University of Southern California had many complaints against him but he was permitted to continue seeing patients.

Incidence of sexual abuse within health care is much higher than many people might imagine, rivaling levels found in the church and other major institutions.  Unfortunately, many barriers exist when sexual abuse occurs in the context of health care, including a lack of support and justice for those who come forward.

Petitions can help hold doctors accountable.  Doctors with complaints against them are often allowed to continue practicing.  One study spanning 10 years found two-thirds of doctors with “strong evidence of sexual misconduct against them had not been disciplined by medical boards”  https://www.cnn.com/2016/07/11/health/doctor-sexual-abuse/index.html  Another study found that abusive doctors are often viewed as “sympathetic figures in need of therapy instead of predators who must answer to police” (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Doctors & Sex Abuse).

The persistent, dismissive attitude towards women abused by doctors has continued for a long time.  Even the #MeToo movement seems to have overlooked women who have been abused in the context of health care.  Women are taking matters into their own hands.

More details on the OBGYN case here: https://jezebel.com/usc-gynecologist-accused-of-misconduct-blames-jealous-o-1826074473

Thanks to Elizabeth for posting the original comment related to this issue and to Chas for linking the petition https://forwomenseyesonly.com/2017/10/27/unnecessary-pap-smears-discussion-forum/

About forwomenseyesonly

Hi. My name is Sue and I am interested in promoting holistic and respectful health care.
Gallery | This entry was posted in doctor abuse, pap test, pelvic exam, sexual abuse and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to Sexually Abusive Doctors Must Lose Licenses: Petition

  1. Sue,

    Thank you for this article! I am not surprised about this because it is very common for male gynecologists to abuse women for many years. I am surprised that they finally fired him. There were many complaints about him over the years that were ignored.

    I think it’s sad that he did not lose his license to practice medicine immediately. This proves that the medical industry is so powerful. We cannot trust the medical industry to protect us so it is best to educate women about how to protect themselves.

    I recently developed a 12 page booklet about how women can protect themselves in medical settings. I ordered 500 for printing.

    I would love to see if there are some women here who would be willing to volunteer their time to pass out those booklets to women. We also will need some financial support to get more booklets printed.

    Misty

  2. Ozphoenix says:

    Not surprised about this. Womens complaints about abusive doctors are usually completely dismissed and trivialised – surprisingly by other women, and the healthcare authorities.

    I had a male cardiologist demanding to do a breast exam on me before he would do anything else. When I refused he cancelled the appointment! I wasn’t seeing him about a breast problem!

    I made a complaint to the Health Care Commission, and they dismissed my complaint saying I should go and find another cardiologist because he is allowed to insist on whatever he wants ‘medically’!! Still haven’t seen another cardiologist.

    A lot of the time, you’re on your own unless you submit to anything and everything a doctor wants, good or bad. I’m still fighting against that kind of attitude.

    • That’s terrible that a cardiologist wanted to do a breast exam on. I am glad you refused to give in. Sadly, many women feel they have to give in even if they know it is an unnecessary breast exam.

      The truth is a cardiologist should never do a breast exam period. A breast exam has nothing to do with your heart.

      Misty

  3. leeb1 says:

    I thought I was okay, but I am not.

    I still have feelings of violation from a pap smear that I was coerced into having in November for heavy bleeding. I thought I could trust this doctor because he delivered three of my cousins, and all the women in my family raved about how good his bedside manner is. I also thought sure enough If I got the pap smear that it would lead to some abdominal imaging, which is what I really wanted and still need. He didn’t refer me for anything afterwards, and I was feeling so violated at the end I just didn’t ask. All I was prescribed was birth control without any blood tests or anything, “don’t self diagnose.” they say. The doctors in women’s healthcare are doing this all the time by just giving us chemical drugs without doing any kind blood test. I could have prescribed myself birth control without having this violating exam. I still don’t understand why he wanted to perform this exam on me when I told him I was a virgin. I still can not shake these icky feelings, I can’t go to sleep at night without having a PTSD episode. In a way I really want to confront this man about my feelings. I thought about setting an appointment just so I can reject the pap smear and take back control over my body, but how silly does this sound?

    I trusted this so called “Professional” with my body and he totally violated it. I went through with it because he told me if I felt any pain at anytime in the exam that he would stop. When I expressed my feeling of pain during the exam he dismissed me and kept going on with the exam stating “Im almost finished,” which he wasn’t because he had just inserted the speculum. He explained nothing, and It seemed like he liked that I was in pain. The whole time I was screaming seemed like he was taking his time, like he was coloring my cervix with a marker. I just got such a sick feeling from this exam. I don’t even feel like a virgin anymore. After the pap smear was over he proceeded to do the bimanual exam with one finger, I said no and started to sit up. This man says “C’mon it’s just one finger” and shoved it in anyway. The way he shoved it in was very forceful and it winded me. I keep reliving this moment and I can’t get rid of it. I am trying meditation, and doing things I love to get my mind off of it and it still keeps coming back. I am at my wits’ end, and I am thinking of doing hypnotherapy. It’s like a never ending agonizing cycle, like i’m living in a bad dream. I feel like I should have had sex before I went to this appt because now I don’t think I will ever be able to go through with it. Now, I wouldn’t feel like I would be able to give my whole self to my partner. This doctor has forever scarred me and I hope to educate other women about the psychological harms this exam can have on women. We were taught for so long not to let strangers touch our private areas, and to keep our legs closed, this is just a contradiction.

    A “True” health care provider is supposed to make the patient feel as comfortable as they can given the fact that they are in the patients most intimate areas. I believe that most gynecologist pick this field out of perversion, some could even be undercover rapists. You would never be able to tell because women are blatantly opening their legs, so the doctor perverts don’t have to go out and rape a women, they’re getting all they need just from coming to work everyday, and they get an incentive?! oh boy! I don’t think I will ever let a doctor near my private areas again until they fix this broken system.

    I really find it hard to believe that out of all this technology we have, there are no imaging tests that can protect a woman’s modesty in order to receive healthcare. They rely on this stupid exam that does nothing in detecting ovarian cancer which is the real silent killer. At what cost does it take for us women to “Be healthy?” because I feel worse after the exam than I was before.

    I am so sorry for the long post, I could not find my original post to post it on there, so I just thought I would share with yall how I am really feeling after I tried many attempts of suppressing my feelings.

    • leeb1,

      I am so sorry to hear about your experience. The truth is a pap smear is rarely necessary for virgins. It’s sickening about how doctors can do unnecessary exams. Pap smears do not help with detecting ovarian cancer at all.

      I agree with you that many male gynecologists could be undercover rapists.

      I appreciate your desire to help other women. We need to educate as many women as possible.

      What part of US are you from? I encourage you to consider filing a complaint about this doctor to the state medical board and put bad reviews about him on the Internet.

      Misty

      • leeb1 says:

        Yes, I agree that the test shouldn’t screen virgins. I believe virgins put themselves at a higher risk just by having the doctor scrape the cells off the cervix. If the speculum is not sterilized properly, they can scrape the disease up your cervix. I pray to God that this did not happen to me.
        I am just so happy I have people on here that agree with me, thank you. I am from Alabama.

      • Moo says:

        Disposable plastic Speculums (speculi) are sold in bulk packages which are not sterile. These are used in most practices because they are cheap. Sterile individually wrapped disposable speculi are also sold but mostly used for pregnant patients.

        The huge debate was also over metal reusable speculi which are “disinfected” or often improperly sterilized.
        https://obpmedical.com/are-reusable-vaginal-speculum-a-danger-to-patients/
        This paper discusses how hpv can be passed without sexual activity.

        Women should be clear about what they consent to in an exam. Clearly stating “I do not consent to this __________ test or exam” is necessary. Also calling the police first rather than complaining to a hospital or clinic official is important in clear cases of assault or abuse. I am not a lawyer but why should’nt patients stand up for their rights to their body?

      • adawells says:

        Moo, have you ever been able to find out how all the plastic speculi are disposed of after the procedure? Are they made of recyclable plastic? There must be a mountain of them somewhere.

    • Fleur says:

      What a dreadful experience!
      It seems like there should be another petition: against all medical practitioners who lied and deceived their patients by promising to immediately stop the painful procedure when the patient asks, and instead continue the torture saying “almost finished” again and again. Every person has been through this. Any wonder so many no longer trust or go to doctors anymore.

      • leeb1 says:

        I really don’t trust any doctors any more. They are money hungry misogynistic pigs. I actually was on the phone with my sister last night. She was sick as a dog with a common cold. The cold was so bad that her eyes started to swell. She decided to call the “Doctor on demand.” Pease enlighten me as to why this doctor had the nerve to ask about her sexual history. Her sinuses are not connected to her vagina in any way, it has nothing to do with a common cold. When my sister told her about her modest sexual history this doctor then spent 20 minutes discussing how great it was that she wasn’t sleeping around, and about all the incurable STI’s that are out there. My sister is a grown woman, she did not need a pep talk on sex when she scheduled the appointment for a common cold. I guarantee that this doctor wouldn’t have asked a man about his sexual history. The medical field is filled with a bunch of misogynistic bastards that treat women as if we are little kids that don’t know how to properly take care of our bodies. That doctor was really a trigger for me and really made me angry. Whether my sister slept around or not was really none of her business.

  4. Judy says:

    I’m so sorry this happened to you. Even though it can’t erase what happened, your reaching out in such an eloquent way shows your resourcefulness and inner strength and will also help other women. And thank you for mentioning the fact that ovarian cancer, which as you know is a silent killer, is not even detected in this exam. This fact is so often lost in the obsession with cervixes and pap smears.

  5. Judy says:

    Definitely consider Misty’s suggestions of putting bad reviews of this practice online and/or filing a complaint with the state medical association. Alabama is an ultra-conservative state, so I dont know if that helps or hurts. But ultimately it’s all about you and your comfort level and your healing. Allow the wisdom and support here to strengthen you, just as you have strengthend all of us by sharing you story.

    • leeb1 says:

      I don’t think I am going to file a complaint only because family members go to him and I wouldn’t want him to do anything to harm them. I may just call the clinic and pull my records. I still owe them money but I can’t seem to bring myself to pay for something so awful. If anyone would like to talk with me one on one to calm my anxiety that would be great, we can exchange emails. Moo’s comment just gave me more anxiety added to the anxiety I already had regarding the exam. It’s been 7 months and I haven’t noticed any HPV symptoms. I have been watching myself closely since having it done. I know for sure he used a “Virginal” reusable speculum…. If only I had a time machine.

  6. Judy says:

    I believe the chances of your contracting HPV from this incident are quite low and even in the off chance you did, in the vast majority of cases it’s cleared from the body harmlessly on its own. Certainly pull your records from this joke of an office and I wouldn’t pay them either. I don’t know if it’s possible for posters to email each other privately but please keep posting. We’re here for you.

    • leeb1 says:

      Ok Thank You. I will try to report him anonymously, do y’all know if they have access to your email if you post anonymously? I am going to pull my records from the office this week. I just know that going back there to pick them up will really trigger me. I really hope that they don’t send me one of those sexual harassment letters reminding me to set an appointment either. I guess that I could tell them to take me off of the list when I pick up my records.
      I know this is off the record but I saw this ad for a phone app that can be placed against the walls and you can see through them. It brings me to the fact that they came up with that technology, but don’t have the technology to look in a woman’s body without poking and prodding.

  7. Demonhype says:

    Thank you so much for this website! I have endeavoring it, and have bought several recommended books, including linda’s! I have also learned that any doctor pushing me for a pap is actually endangering my health even if their rhetoric was correct, because I am one of those unicorns, a true virgin at 39, planning for lifelong celibacy – seriously, never even had a tampon or finger in there, much less anything that could give me hpv!

    You are providing an important service and promoting true feminism, the kind that informs women and respects their choices, as opposed to the bikini medicine brand of feminism that is nothing but patriarchy that has co-opted feminist rhetoric and sentiment.

    • Demonhype says:

      Been devouring, not endeavoring. Stupid autocorrect.

      • Linda says:

        Hi Demon. So glad you found us. Keep on reading the posts and comments to really become informed and empowered. Sounds like you have a mind of your own anyway.

  8. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    There seems to be a few male doctors in court at the moment, are we finally catching up with some that have been abusing their trusted positions for decades? I think so…
    Currently, a jury is considering the evidence presented at a lengthy trial of an immunologist who, it’s alleged, did unnecessary breast, vaginal and pelvic exams.
    I suspect the modus operandi will be familiar to lots of women, these woman were in her 20s, 30s or 40s and presented with dermatitis, eczema, etc.
    Note in the 1980s most women didn’t have a choice of doctor, the profession was almost entirely male. I believe lines were routinely crossed back then, it still happens today but doctors have to be more careful, they might just find a police officer in their waiting room, I think it means predatory doctors have to choose their victims very carefully. Doctors can no longer rely on the Medical Board doing nothing or slapping them over the wrist.
    The current trial:
    The specialist asks:
    “Are you sexually active?”
    Most women answered the question even though they probably wondered what that had to do with their dermatitis, but he’s the professional.
    Do you have a low libido? Do you have vaginal dryness?
    The Crown alleges this line of questioning was a lead-in for the “I’d like to do an internal exam now”…most women agreed to the exam.
    Some refused…and gave evidence the doctors demeanour changed at that point.

    Speaking generally, the modus operandi in these cases is important, IMO, perfected over many years, what works best – what gets most women undressed and on the exam table.
    The doctor is in a position of power – it’s a very difficult thing to challenge a predator in a white coat – it’s very hard to get up and leave. Some women said they agreed because they didn’t want to appear difficult – I think women have been trained to blindly comply to medical orders, but thankfully, that’s changing…look at the way cervical screening was “offered” to women, often women were coerced into testing simply because they wanted the Pill, a predator’s dream. We were basically told to blindly comply with the order to screen, don’t ask questions, a complaint would likely return an admonishment, “you SHOULD be having Pap tests, a doctor shouldn’t have to force you, you should thank him, he might have saved your life!” etc.

    There are 40+ women involved in the current trial, the offences go back to the late 80s until more recently…
    I think we need to be on guard when we see a doctor, especially an unknown doctor, we need to have a strategy that can be used to get out of an uncomfortable situation.
    IMO, that inner voice is usually a very reliable judge of character…

    • Alice says:

      Good if the justice is finally catching up with patient abuse, though it most likely will be a very slow and backward process.

      The problem with the medical field is the presumption that the doctor is always right while the patient is a hysterical idiot unless proven otherwise; and the fact that the medical system is self-governing and self-controlled as doctors only answer to their colleagues, and most doctors will rather see the patient suffer than spoil their work relationships; and the fact that medical information about the patient belongs to anyone but the patient – the government, the doctor, the lab, the hospital, the medical centre, the bureau of statistics – every Tom, Dick and Harry, but not the woman. It is very hard to prove anything and defend onself in such climate.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        No doubt in my mind, it’s women going straight to the Police after a sexual assault in a medical setting, that’s making a difference.
        Why should Medical Boards deal with alleged sexual assault anyway?
        Or the Church or any other group. It’s obvious your own is hardly going to be impartial, cover up/fob off, protecting the reputation of the profession, getting rid of any liability or avoiding bad publicity will be their focus, we’ve seen that In so many cases.
        Anyone accused of criminal conduct should be handed over to the Police.

        I’ve always felt the Medical Board was there to protect doctors, not patients.
        Now you often see them playing catch up when the Police are involved, they can’t sit on their hands for ages or fob off complaints, even multiple complaints over many years or give the doctor a “warning”.
        We had a woman post here a while ago, she was going on a modelling assignment and was required to have a medical for the insurance – the doctor insisted on a breast exam or she wouldn’t get her clearance certificate. (coercion) The young woman made a complaint to the hospital, the accused doctor made the excuse that he’d offered her a breast exam and she accepted – of course, they knew a routine breast exam was not a requirement for the insurance cover – it was inappropriate to even offer one.
        The Board that considered the conduct would have known, IMO, that the doctor hoped to enjoy this young woman’s breasts for 5 minutes, using his medical position of trust as a cover.

        Here it would be even more damning because the exam was scrapped long ago – yet we have doctors here who lamely state,”we were taught to do a breast exam when I was in medical school in 1975″…this excuse may not be accepted without criticism, but the convenient inference is that the doctor just needs a refresher, he’s out of date. I’m sure some doctors will try-it-on if they find a patient attractive and think they can get away with it.
        It’s a big step to go to the Police, but it’s a brutal wake-up call when these predators find the Police sitting in their waiting room, they must then have a sinking feeling that the good old days are over, no longer is it safe to sexually assault a woman and call it a medical exam. You might get away with it, you might not….also, even if you get away with that assault, another woman may complain and others may then come forward and speak to the Police. The dermatologist who was raping women digitally and taking photos on his phone came crashing down when a brazen assault went straight to the Police.

  9. I wanted to let everyone know that “How Women Can Protect Themselves in Medical Settings” (http://patientmodesty.org/womensbooklet.aspx) booklets are on sale at http://patientmodesty.org/womensbooklet.aspx. It would be great if a bunch of us could distribute those booklets in different communities. Please share this with other people. I’d love to see many colleges reached.

    Misty

  10. I wanted to encourage everyone here to share this fundraiser to raise funding for distribution of booklets about how women can protect themselves in medical settings (https://www.gofundme.com/protect-women-in-medical-settings). We would love to raise money to distribute 100,000 booklets to women.

    We all know that the medical industry does not protect women. The best way is to educate women about how to protect themselves.

    Misty

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