State of Illinois addresses problem of doctors molesting patients
This week, officials in Illinois are discussing taking a more aggressive role in policing physicians who are convicted of molesting patients. The Chicago Tribune reported on November 29 that Illinois should consider adopting legislation like that written by California policymaker Rudy Bermudez: Bermudez was reportedly so upset when fellow members of the Medical Board of California restored the license of a doctor convicted of sexual abuse of a patient, that he wrote and secured passage of a law automatically revoking doctors' licenses after such a conviction.
Currently, according to the Tribune, only California, Minnesota and a handful of other states have similar laws, despite the fact that such convictions are not rare. Physicians' complaint records are not actively monitored, and the public is not allowed access to this kind of physician history, however, and in many states, law enforcement and state regulators do not share information regarding complaints. As a result, most cases surface only after multiple allegations of misconduct. As in Illinois, most states' medical lobbies fiercely oppose public dissemination of doctors' individual profiles containing any history of criminal convictions, suspension of privileges or malpractice payouts.