Why is sexual assault by my doctor considered medical malpractice?

It doesn’t matter if you’re a doctor at Inova Fair Oaks, a psychiatrist at St. Elizabeth’s, or a nurse at Sibley Memorial, you and your professional peers must all take an oath to uphold your patients’ medical rights and to prevent them harm to the best of your ability. When you go against that oath and either willingly or carelessly put your patient in harm’s way, you’re committing medical malpractice.

Medical professionals who abuse the doctor-patient relationship could have their medical licenses taken away as well as go to jail. It’s against the medical code of ethics to have a sexual relationship or sexual contact with a patient, because it could negatively affect their medical care. Unwanted or coerced sexual advances can also cause serious psychological harm to the patient, as well as be considered sexual harassment or rape, depending on the severity of the advances.

Three Common Situations of Sexual Misconduct

Doctors and other medical professionals are put in a unique situation of trust with their patients. Generally, when your doctor tells you to do something, you trust that he has your wellbeing at heart. However, some professionals will use this trust to manipulate specific situations for their own sexual gratification.

  • If you develop an unprofessional or open personal friendship that doesn’t really pertain to your care, this can open up avenues for flirtation, personal questioning, and manipulation.
  • If you don’t question certain inappropriate actions, your doctor can take advantage of his position and force you to go along with unnecessary exams or prolonged touching.
  • The most serious and frightening situation for sexual misconduct is when you’re unconscious or otherwise unable to give consent and your doctor takes sexual advantage of you, without your knowledge or being able to do anything bout it at the time.

Inappropriate, unwanted, or coercive sexual advances from a trusted healthcare professional, whether violent in nature or not, can cause you traumatic physical and psychological harm. When a medical professional’s actions and misconduct cause you harm—sexual or otherwise—he’s liable under state medical malpractice laws for any and all damages.

Don’t allow yourself or a loved one to be a victim of sexual medical malpractice. Doctors do NOT have the right to use your trust and their profession against you. If you agree, please share this article with friends and family and be sure to browse our other articles on medical malpractice for more information. If you need assistance or have questions about filing sexual a medical malpractice lawsuit, contact Shevlin Smith today.

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