The trust that we put into doctors and other healthcare professionals to provide competent and respectful medical care puts everyone who is not a healthcare professional in a very vulnerable place. We have to believe that our doctors and healthcare professionals are going to be competent and respectful while they care for us, and most of the time, that’s exactly what we get. However, in rare cases, a healthcare professional breaks the trust that is given to them by acting negligently or inappropriately. And we know that medical malpractice is something that people will experience pretty commonly, and that there are medical malpractice lawyers, such as the ones available at Daniel E. Stuart PA, that deal with malpractice.
But what happens when a doctor uses their position of power and authority to make an unwelcome or inappropriate sexual contact, comments or other inappropriate maneuvers towards a patient in their care? Does it fall under medical malpractice? Sexual misconduct does fall under medical malpractice.
Patients that are victimized by sexual misconduct have the right to hold the medical professional accountable for their actions, and a medical malpractice lawyer is going to be able to help you do that. If you are the victim of sexual misconduct in a medical setting, a medical malpractice claim can be appropriate, and your medical malpractice lawyer is going to be able to give you advice on whether to pursue those separately or as part of a medical malpractice claim.
But what is sexual misconduct under medical malpractice? In the context of medical malpractice, sexual misconduct is a non consensual sexual relationship that occurs between a doctor and a patient that is under their care. It is very important to note that you must be under a doctor’s care for this to countless medical malpractice, otherwise it would just be filed as a sex crime. There are many actions that could be considered sexual misconduct under medical malpractice and some of these are, this is not an exhaustive list but merely to give you an idea, and that list is below:
- Sexual comments
- Asking questions about a patient’s sexual history that are not related to the medical exam
- Unnecessary physical exams
- Inappropriate touching, such as an extended touch or touching an area of the body not related to the medical exam
- Criticism of the patient’s sexual orientation or sexual history
And you might be wondering how doctors are held accountable for sexual misconduct, sexual misconduct claims against physician or other healthcare providers falls under medical malpractice laws, however in order for a medical my practice claim to have merit the doctor must’ve failed to meet the standard of care that a reasonably prudent and competent doctor reviews in the same or similar circumstances. In the case of sexual misconduct, the physician intentionally violated the standard of care and can therefore be held liable for their actions.
If you have any more questions about how sexual misconduct falls under medical malpractice law, you should speak to a medical malpractice lawyer.