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Dealing with rogue doctors

Some readers may be aware of a recent disturbing case in a top US hospital where a rogue doctor seriously abused the trust bestowed on him by his patients. He secretly recorded intimate pelvic examinations on the women who visited him for years.He ended up amassing thousands of pictures and videos of women’s genital organs.

It’s unclear what his motives were, he gassed himself and committed suicide before he was brought to justice. The trust between you and your doctor must be upheld at all times. This is the only way you can have full confidence with your healthcare providers. After all you trust them with your life, let alone other confidential matters related to your health. Medical law is very clear about ethical obligations that doctors must always uphold. And there are clear punishment pathways if anyone is found in breach of stipulated laws, often leading to de-registration from the medical register. Serving time in jail is not unheard of either.

But can you really protect yourself from any doctor bent on doing some harm? There are no foolproof ways of being absolutely sure that your doctor is on the straight and narrow. The rogue US doctor worked for over 20 years without ever being noticed by either his colleagues or his own patients. There are steps that you can however take to reassure yourself that no misdemeanors are happening whilst lying on the examination couch.

Select both your doctors and hospitals prudently. Keep all your antennae on high alert whenever consulting. Anything odd that comes up must be questioned. Never allow anything to be done without your consent, either verbal or written. Most of all, never agree to have any physical examinations without a chaperone being present. The presence of a chaperone gives an added measure of reassurance, and provides a witness should things get off course.

If you feel aggrieved despite reasonable measures, don’t keep it to yourself. Bring it up with the hospital’s complaints processes.If it’s a solo practice, seek advice from colleagues you can trust, or a lawyer, or the police. You can even go directly and lodge a complaint to the medical board. The sooner a rogue doctor is nipped in the bud, the better for everyone else.

The patients affected in the US case will find it hard to ever trust any doctor. They are sharing millions of dollars in compensation, but that will hardly restore any trust. Some have vowed never to visit any gynecologists in the future, and will be traumatized for the rest of their days.

The vast majority of doctors however are just what they should be. They uphold their medical ethics to the letter, and are only interested in doing some good. Don’t be overly paranoid, but equally don’t ignore any telltale signs of deviation from medical norms.

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Some readers may be aware of a recent disturbing case in a top US hospital where a rogue doctor seriously abused the trust bestowed on him by his patients.

He secretly recorded intimate pelvic examinations on the women who visited him for years.He ended up amassing thousands of pictures and videos of women’s genital organs.

It’s unclear what his motives were, he gassed himself and committed suicide before he was brought to justice.

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