More than half of the 2,400 US doctors disciplined for sexually abusing patients since 1999 were allowed to continue seeing—and abusing—patients, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports following a yearlong investigation. That includes a Missouri doctor who got aroused while asking a patient if she liked being tied up and peed on, a Kentucky doctor who put his mouth on a patient's vagina when he was supposed to be examining her abdomen, and a California psychiatrist who grabbed a patient's breast and ejaculated on her hand. There were examples in all 50 states of doctors of all stripes sexually abusing patients, from babies to women in their 80s. “They’re concerned only about one thing, and that’s their personal gratification," a lawyer for one group of victims tells ABC News.
The Journal-Constitution argues the problem should be given the same level of attention as sex abuse in the Catholic Church. Some doctors have hundreds of victims each. An Oregon doctor of the year who was called a "great humanitarian" by Congress had 140 counts of sexually abusing patients leveled against him. He pleaded guilty to six but never saw prison. The Journal-Constitution was inspired to investigate after it discovered two-thirds of Georgia doctors disciplined for sexual misconduct were allowed to keep practicing. It was the same story in Minnesota (four-fifths), Kansas (two-thirds), and Alabama (three-fourths), the New York Daily News reports. It seems everyone is ready to make excuses or keep things quiet for doctors, from medical boards, to prosecutors, to the community. Read the full investigation here. (Read more sexual abuse stories.)