Sexual Misconduct in a Medical Environment:
Sexual misconduct is any sexual contact, speech, or behaviour between a health care provider and his/her patient.
This could be an attempt to seduce a patient; asking a patient on a date; using inappropriate language or making erotic or suggestive remarks.
This could also be abuse of the physical examination, in particular when it is not indicated according to his/her presenting medical condition.
It could also be raping or fondling a patient while they are awake or while they are under anaesthesia.
The Doctor-Patient relationship is a privileged one which depends on the patients trust in the Doctor. GPs are obliged to act in the best interest of their patients at all times.
Misconduct might involve carrying out a physical exam without explaining why it is needed, what is involved and obtaining the consent of the patient for the exam. Also the patient should be offered a chaperone when undergoing any intimate examination and should be given privacy and consideration when dressing and undressing.
Any attempt to seduce or to coerce an inappropriate relationship with a patient.
Any inappropriate language, erotic or suggestive comments or questions which make the patient uncomfortable.
Hospitals have an obligation to protect patients while they are in their care. This protection must be provided to all patients and from all persons, whether they are employees of the hospital or not.
All hospitals should have clear and robust policies in place regarding patient safety. They should also have the relevant training in place so that all hospital employees and physicians using the hospital are aware of best practice and mandatory reporting in relation to patient safety.
Effects of Trauma:
Possible effects on the individual:
Social and behavioural problems, including, but not limited to: relationship difficulties; risky sexual behaviour; aggression and criminal behaviours.
Impaired psychological health throughout the lifespan, including, but not limited to: depression; substance use/abuse; anxiety; mood disorders; PTSD; and suicide attempts.
Cognitive and academic problems, including, but not limited to: poor academic performance and underachieving at work.
Impaired physical health that can endure for decades, such as increased risk of heart disease, cancer, liver disease, and auto-immune diseases. This problem is compounded by the fact that those who suffer abuse in a medical setting are afraid to return to any medical setting for treatment of illnesses.
Increased rates of unemployment and poverty often as a result of poor academic performance and mental health issues.
Possible effects of trauma on society:
Those who suffer trauma, particularly in childhood are more likely to require mental health services. They are more likely to be involved in the criminal justice system. They are more likely to require social welfare services.
Possible effects of trauma on the economy:
The cost to the economy is the result of increased demand for health services, particularly mental health services and increased demand for welfare. However, there is also the indirect costs associated with unemployment, criminality, legal expenses, redress programmes, and reduced opportunities for citizens.