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Sexual abuse of patients could constitute medical malpractice

When most people think about medical malpractice lawsuits the first thing that likely comes to mind is a doctor performing an unnecessary medical procedure or performing one that is needed, incorrectly. As it turns out there are other actions a doctor could take that constitute medical malpractice. Sexually abusing patients is one of those things.

An Ontario doctor recently admitted to sexually abusing several of his patients. The admission took place at a disciplinary hearing regarding his medical licence.

Following the accusation of sexually abusing patients who were women the man was restricted from treating female patients. Despite this restriction he nonetheless did not post the required sign in his office that informed patients of this and continued to provide care to women. He also admitted to smoking marijuana with one of the women he had sex with.

Where physicians having sexual relations with patients is concerned it is automatically considered sexual abuse. This is true even when the activity is consensual. As a result of these actions, the physician’s licence to practice medicine could be revoked. This is not the only consequence the man could face.

The failure of a medical professional to provide care that meets a reasonable standard could be deemed medical malpractice. Most would undoubtedly agree that having sex with patients in one’s office does not meet that reasonable care standard. Depending on the circumstances surrounding these instances it is possible that the women who were involved could file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Whether they will do so in this case is not clear.

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