Sexual Misconduct by Physicians
When you go to a doctor’s office, hospital or clinic, you expect to receive competent medical care but also to be treated in a respectful manner. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. If you or someone close to you has been the victim of a doctor’s sexual misconduct, you have the right to hold that doctor accountable. At Arfaa Law Group, our seasoned Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys will closely examine the facts of your case and help you understand your rights and options if you have been the victim of sexual misconduct or another injury in a healthcare setting.Sexual Misconduct in the Context of Medical Malpractice
Sexual assault is sexual contact made without the other party’s consent. In the context of medical malpractice, sexual misconduct by physicians consists of a non-consensual sexual relationship that takes place between a doctor and a patient under his or her care. Whether you are male or female and whether the doctor is male or female, sexual misconduct goes against all professional behaviour and standards. Sexual abuse by a doctor can take many forms including, but not limited to:
- Critique of a patient’s sexual orientation
- Comments of a sexual nature
- Requesting details of a patient’s sexual history when it is irrelevant to a case
- Unnecessary exams
- Prolonged touching
Perhaps the most frightening situation is when you are sedated or otherwise unable to give consent and your doctor engages in sexually inappropriate behaviour with you without your knowledge or being able to do anything.Holding a Doctor Accountable for Sexual Misconduct
Within most medical professions, there are standards that prohibit sexual relations between a current patient or client. This is because given the specialized training of a doctor and vulnerability of a patient, there is power dynamic that can be exploited by the healthcare provider. In fact, doctors are in a unique situation of trust with their patients. Generally, when your doctor tells you to do something, you trust that your wellbeing is at the center of the request. Sadly, this is not always the case.
If you or someone close to you has been victimized by a doctor, you may be able hold that doctor accountable through a medical malpractice claim, and a knowledgeable medical negligence lawyer can assist you. Medical malpractice takes place when a doctor fails to adhere to the standard of care that a reasonably prudent doctor would have adhered to in the same or similar circumstances. When a doctor commits sexual misconduct, that doctor is deliberately violating the standard of care and can be held liable for such conduct.
Oftentimes, the medical practice or hospital that employs the doctor will be a potential defendant in the case as well, because they knew or should have known of the potential for sexual assault. This would be true in cases in which there have been prior complaints regarding the doctor’s behavior and the medical practice or hospital took no steps to reduce the risk towards patients (e.g. provide a chaperone for the doctor or fire the doctor altogether).Recovering Damages for Sexual Misconduct by Physicians
Damages in a medical malpractice case serve to repay the patient for losses sustained due to an injury. There are two main types of damages that are typically awarded in Maryland medical malpractice cases: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are quantifiable damages that can be easily calculated such as medical bills and lost wages. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are damages for intangible losses and are much harder to quantify precisely, such as pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life. In rare cases, a plaintiff may be able to recover punitive damages when a medical professional’s conduct is considered to be “egregious.”Medical Malpractice Attorneys Helping Victims Fight For Justice in Baltimore
If you or someone you love has been a victim of a doctor’s inappropriate behavior, the medical malpractice lawyers at Arfaa Law Group may be able to help. Sexual misconduct by physicians can seriously jeopardize a patient’s health and do lasting damage. We understand that these matters can be emotionally charged, which is why we will handle your case with the utmost compassion. We represent victims in the Baltimore area and across the State of Maryland who have been hurt do to surgical errors, failure to diagnose, and many other negligent acts or omissions by healthcare professionals. Please call 410-889-1850 or contact us online for a free case evaluation.