A 19-year-old went to Chicago’s Kennedy Medical Service Corporation for what she believed was a routine pelvic disease diagnosis. However, according to her recent medical malpractice lawsuit, she was raped by her physician while her legs were in stirrups. The Chicago Tribune is reporting that the young victim broke down crying to nurse, who immediately called the police. She then went to South Shore Hospital to have a rape exam performed. She provided the police officers with a narrative of the rape. These officers later shared this testimony with the state agency responsible for licensing doctors.
According to the report, the victim felt violated by a person she believed she could trust. Testifying during a 2008 state hearing she stated that she hopes this never happens to someone she loves. However, this victim is not the only one. Two more of the doctor’s patients would claim he raped them and four others claimed sexual misconduct to law enforcement or the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. It took all seven complaints for someone to take action against these egregious interactions.
Many are alarmed at the gross negligence of the Illinois licensing board in the delay it took to punish the doctor. It took seven years after the first complaint was filed for them to seek any disciplinary action. Still there was another two years before the doctor was actually punished, leaving him able to practice medicine for nine years. It is unclear as to how many women were victims of sexual medical malpractice during that timeframe. He was finally disciplined for “unprofessional and immoral conduct.” In order to protect patients, it is essential for medical licensing boards to take quicker action to ensure that negligent and harmful physicians are not allowed to continue to practice if they have committed harms against patients. Action should be take to prevent providers from continuing to practice, thereby lessening the risk of further malpractice. To read more about this Chicago medical malpractice lawsuit, please click the link.