Sexual Misconduct By Doctors

Tips For Parents To Prevent Children From Being Sexually Abused By Doctors

If you do research, you will find many cases of child sexual abuse by doctors all over the United States. There are many unreported cases because patients are afraid to speak up about the abuse they experienced because they know that it is very easy for doctors to get away with wrongdoing. Some doctors that have committed misconduct have continued to practice. It usually takes a long time for doctors to be arrested. One of the worst cases was Dr. Earl Bradley, a pediatrician in Delaware who has been accused of sexually abused over 100 children. He even was accused of sexually abused a 3 month infant according a news source. Check out the article by ABC News about Dr. Earl Bradley. Another pediatrician, Dr. Levine, a learning disabilties expert was accused of sexually abusing 5 boys. Check out some articles about Dr. Levine in The New York Times. A pediatrician and sports medicine specialist, Dr. Van De Loo sexually abused some boys during sports physicals.

1.) It is best for at least one parent or trusted adult be present in the examining room with the child and doctor at all times. Remember the nurse is primarily there to protect the doctor. Sometimes, children have a hard time knowing if the doctor is doing anything inappropriate.

2.) Teach your children boundaries and explain to them that they should apply them to doctors too. Check out Boundaries For Children.

3.) If your daughter has gynecological problems, you should always take her to a female doctor.

4.) If the doctor tells you that he/she thinks it would be best if you left the examining room, tell him/her no firmly.

5.) If the doctor desires to take your child to another room for a special treat by himself/herself, tell him no firmly and that you need to go with him/her. A good pediatrician welcomes parents in the examining room with the child.

6.) Be firm and don't let the child dress unnecessarily for certain procedures. For example, if a child is suspected to have chicken pox, there's no need for him/her to take all clothes off because the doctors can diagnose chicken pox by looking at certain parts of skin that are not under clothes.

7.) Encourage your teenage daughters to never go to a male gynecologist. Women who go to a male gynecologist put themselves in a vulnerable position. Many teenage girls do not want their mothers to be a part of their gynecological appointments. Remember that pap smears are often unnecessary for teenage girls unless they are sexually active. See more information on pap smears for virgins. If your daughter needs a gynecologist, try to find her a female gynecologist who specializes in adolescent gynecology. Many teenage girls have been traumatized by the memory of being examined by a male gynecologist even if they were not sexually abused. Some women cannot get over it even after many years. Be willing to drive as far as you have to find a good female ob/gyn for your daughter if there are no good female ob/gyns where you live. Check out tips for female teenagers.

8.) Keep in mind that boys are also vulnerable and can be sexually abused by doctors too so you need to also take precautions with them.

9.) Don't allow any unnecessary genital exams on your children. If your child is uncomfortable with a genital exam, request that no genital exams be done.

10.) Try to be present for your child's procedure or surgery especially if he/she will be under anesthesia. The mother for a 12 year old girl who had oral surgery to remove some baby teeth was present in the room with her which was good because the girl had laughing gas. Check out Why You Should Have a Personal Advocate For Surgery?

11.) Stay educated about any procedures or surgeries your children may need to have. Take time to do your own research. For example, if your child is suspected of having appendicitis, don't allow a rectal exam to be done unless appendicitis has been ruled out by other tests. Check out how they diagnose appendicitis. Check out this other article about how digital rectal exam is often unnecessary for diagnosing appendicitis and how it can be emotionally and physically traumatic. Check out this article, Appendicitis Can Often Be Treated With Antibiotics.

12.) Think in advance about what parts of your child's body need to be examined before you go to the doctor. For example, if your teenage daughter has an elbow injury, it would be best if she could wear a short sleeved shirt instead of a long sleeved shirt so she would not have to take her shirt off.

13.) Always keep in mind that doctors are humans and not infallible. Do not teach your children that the doctor is always right and everything the doctor does is good.



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