Just weeks after the California Senate refused to advance a bill requiring doctors to notify their patients that they were on probation for -- among other things -- sexual abuse of patients, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has published a stunning investigation exposing just how easy it is for these physicians to continue practicing.
The series is national in scope. Reporters examined "documents that described disturbing acts of physician sexual abuse in every state. Rapes by OB/GYNs, seductions by psychiatrists, fondling by anesthesiologists and ophthalmologists, and molestations by pediatricians and radiologists."
Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporters identified 3,100 doctors who were disciplined after being accused of sexual misconduct, and more than 2,000 of them continued to practice. But those cases may be only a fraction of the actual numbers, since many violations "never came to the attention of state regulators."
The individual examples they cite are downright chilling, including this doctor from Granite Bay, east of Sacramento:
In California, a patient was leaving an appointment with Dr. Mandeep Behniwal, a psychiatrist, when the doctor put his hand down her blouse, grabbed her breast out of her bra and placed his mouth on it. He then exposed himself and ejaculated on her hand.
Behniwal told the Journal-Constitution the patient initiated the sexual contact. "For half a minute, I lost my judgment," Behniwal said.