Sexual Misconduct By Doctors

Medical Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse by medical professionals is very common. Many cases are never reported because patients are embarrassed or fear that they won’t be believed. Also, we are often pushed to believe that because something was done under guise of medical care that it is acceptable. Our society rarely educates us about how to prevent sexual abuse by medical professionals because doctors are experts and social norms dictate that we are not to question them.

Our web site only includes cases of abuse by medical professionals that are in the news. Many medical professionals get away with abuse without ever getting in trouble.

Common examples of inappropriate behavior by medical professionals include:

  • Touching a patient inappropriately

  • Making inappropriate sexual advances

  • Watching a patient undress.

  • Taking advantage of a patient under sedation or anesthesia (one example includes the ENT surgeon, Dr. Twana Sparks who performed unnecessary genital exams on male patients)

  • Performing intimate procedures / tasks on anesthetized patients without their prior expressed consent. Such tasks include performing pelvic, breast, rectal, prostate, and genital exams, inserting urinary catheters, shaving of the pubic / groin area, bathing, removing the gown or underwear, etc.

  • Performing inappropriate and unnecessary medical examinations of private parts (some examples include a 14 year old girl going in for strep throat who ended up having a Pap smear and a male doctor conducting unnecessary breast exams on girls for sports physicals)

  • Making inappropriate sexual jokes or remarks

  • Taking photos or videos of a patient's private parts without their express consent. Some examples include: Dr. George Tyndall, Dr. Paul Becton, and Dr. Nikita Levy (all were male OB/GYNs).

  • Ignoring a patient’s wishes that she/he does not want a medical professional of the opposite sex present for any procedure that involve private parts. One example is a lady who was told that her religious convictions would be accommodated by ensuring there would be no males present for her C-Section. A male nurse touched her naked body against her wishes.

  • Inviting medical students into the room during an exam without asking the patient for permission.

Many web sites that address how to prevent sexual abuse by doctors share that intimate examinations are okay if a medical professional wears gloves. While it is true that many medical professionals have abused patients without wearing gloves, there are accounts of medical professionals who violated their patients with gloves on as well. For example, Chuck Christian who was abused by Dr. Robert Anderson who performed many unnecessary rectal exams with gloves on. Chuck Christian now has PTSD as a result of his medical experience, and every time a doctor puts on gloves, it triggers him.

Doctors should always wear gloves for sterility and infection control purposes when they perform any procedure. But it is not for the purpose of preventing sexual abuse. For example, society would not dismiss a case of a woman who was raped by a man who wore a condom. This rapist may wear a condom to ensure that the woman does not get pregnant or that his semen won't be found on the woman to make it harder to prosecute him.

Furthermore, Federal law criminalizes non-consensual sexual contact either directly or through clothing with intimate areas of the body, specifically the “anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks.”

We encourage everyone to check out tips about how to prevent sexual abuse by medical professionals.


Cohen v. Smith, 269 Ill. App. 3d 1087 | Casetext Search + Citator

Physician Sexual Misconduct - Federation of State Medical Boards

Federation of State Medical Boards – Physician Sexual Misconduct, Part 1

Federation of State Medical Boards – Physician Sexual Misconduct, Part 2

National Council of State Boards of Nursing and Sexual Misconduct

Alleged sex abuse kept a Michigan football player away from doctors for decades. He now has stage 4 cancer

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