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