Did you know that more than 500 doctors in Ohio have been disciplined for sexual misconduct with patients or others since 1996? Many people are unaware of or choose to ignore the shocking and disturbing reality that hundreds of doctors have abused their power and trust to sexually harass or assault their patients, colleagues, or employees.
Sexual harassment or assault from a trusted physician can cause physical, emotional, and psychological harm. It also damages the reputation and credibility of the medical profession. If you have been sexually harassed or abused by a doctor, you must know your rights and options. Cincinnati, Ohio sexual harassment attorneys can help you explore your legal options so that you can get justice.
Understanding Doctor Sexual Misconduct
Any sexual behavior or contact between a doctor and a patient or another person is inappropriate and unethical. It can include unwanted physical contact or remarks of a sexual nature that constitute sexual harassment in the medical setting. Improper touching, kissing, embracing, or massaging are some forms of doctor sexual misconduct. Inappropriate remarks about one’s sexual experiences, interests, or desires are also included. Demands or requests for sexual activities from a medical provider are unacceptable and constitute sexual harassment.
Exposing private body parts or sexually using medical tools is highly inappropriate and constitutes sexual assault. Prescribing medications to enhance sexuality absent a legitimate medical need infringes on a patient’s rights. Viewing or distributing nude or sexual images or videos without consent violates a patient’s privacy. Sexual relationships between providers and patients breach ethical codes of conduct. Patients have the right to medical care free from sexual harassment in all its forms. Doctor sexual misconduct can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender, race, or health condition, and it can occur in any setting, such as a hospital, clinic, office, home, or hotel.
How To Report Sexual Harassment From A Doctor
Reporting a doctor’s sexual misconduct can be challenging and intimidating. You may feel scared, ashamed, embarrassed, guilty, angry, or confused. You may worry about the consequences of reporting to your doctor and face retaliation, stigma, disbelief, or blame from your doctor, their colleagues, their employer, your family, your friends, or society. However, reporting a doctor’s sexual misconduct is crucial and beneficial. It can help you get justice and closure, prevent further harm to yourself or others, protect other patients from being victimized by your doctor, and hold your doctor accountable for their actions.
If you decide to report doctor sexual misconduct in Ohio, the following steps and procedures can be followed:
Document the incident: Write down everything you remember about the incident as soon as possible. Include details such as date, time, location, name of the doctor, name of any witnesses, what happened, how you felt, what you said or did, and what the doctor said or did. Keep any evidence that may support your claim, such as medical records, prescriptions, receipts, photos, videos, texts, emails, or phone records.
Seek support: Find someone you trust who can support you emotionally and practically. This could be a friend, a family member, a counselor, a therapist, a support group, or a hotline. You can also contact the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence (OAESV), a statewide coalition of sexual assault programs and advocates that provides free and confidential services to survivors of sexual violence.
Contact a lawyer: Ohio sexual harassment attorneys can provide guidance. A lawyer can help you file a civil lawsuit against your doctor and seek compensation for your damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. A lawyer can also help you report your doctor to the State Medical Board of Ohio and/or the police.
Report to the State Medical Board of Ohio: The State Medical Board of Ohio is the agency that regulates and licenses doctors in Ohio. It has the authority to investigate and discipline doctors who violate the law or medical ethics.
You can file a complaint against your doctor with the State Medical Board of Ohio online, by phone, by email, or by mail. You will need to provide your name, contact information, and details about your complaint. The State Medical Board of Ohio will review your complaint and determine whether to open an investigation. If an investigation is opened, you may be contacted by an investigator who will ask you for more information and evidence.
The investigation may take several months or years to complete. The State Medical Board of Ohio may decide to take no action, issue a warning, impose a fine, order education or counseling, restrict the doctor’s license, or revoke the doctor’s license, depending on the severity of the misconduct and the doctor’s history.
Make a police report: If you have been sexually assaulted or raped by your doctor, you can report the crime to the police. The police can investigate the crime, collect evidence, and prosecute the offender. You can also seek a restraining or protection order against your doctor to prevent them from contacting you or coming near you.
Recovering Damages in Doctor Sexual Harassment Cases
If you have been sexually harassed or abused by a doctor in Ohio, you may be entitled to legal remedies and compensation. Sexual harassment attorneys can help you navigate the complex legal system, gather evidence, and build a strong case against your doctor. They can also negotiate a settlement or represent you in court. Some of the legal remedies and compensation you may be able to recover include:
Medical expenses: You may be able to recover the costs of medical treatment, therapy, counseling, medication, or surgery related to sexual harassment or abuse.
Lost wages: You may be able to recover the wages you lost due to sexual harassment or abuse, such as time off from work, decreased productivity, or job loss.
Pain and suffering: You may be able to recover damages for the physical and emotional pain and suffering you experienced due to sexual harassment or abuse.
Punitive damages: You may be able to recover punitive damages if the court determines that your doctor acted with malice, recklessness, or intentional harm.
Seek Legal Help From Ohio Sexual Harassment Lawyer
Sexual harassment from medical providers can be traumatic. Sadly, this type of misuse of power has become common in Ohio, affecting many patients and their families. Recognizing, reporting, and seeking legal help for doctor sexual misconduct can be challenging, but it’s crucial for getting justice and closure.
Sexual harassment attorneys are skilled professionals that help victims hold doctors accountable for their actions. If you have been sexually harassed or abused by a doctor, don’t be afraid to seek professional legal counsel. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.