NOTE: This content was originally published by WBEZ Chicago. Read the full article here.
The doctor-patient relationship requires trust. What happens when a patient feels like a doctor hasn’t upheld professional responsibility?
In two separate cases in Illinois, dozens of women have accused their OBGYNs of committing medical and sexual battery while undergoing exams.
The cases raise questions for patients. The relationship between a patient and a doctor requires trust, clear communication and integrity. So, what happens when a patient feels like a doctor hasn’t upheld professional responsibility? What is a patient supposed to do if touched inappropriately or made to feel uncomfortable?
That case has had wider repercussions. In June of 2022, Tamara Holder, an attorney representing 36 victims, filed six new lawsuits against Ortega and his former employers – NorthShore and Swedish Covenant. The suits allege that hospital officials allowed Ortega to continue working despite being under criminal investigation for sexual assault.
In August of 2022, a suburban OBGYN, Dr. Vernon Cannon, was accused of sexual battery by two women while working at Duly Health and Care in Arlington Heights. Additional misconduct lawsuits accuse Cannon of performing medical procedures while intoxicated.
In these cases, women are trying to hold doctors and the institutions that hired them accountable for alleged crimes.
When it comes to obstetrics and gynecology care, what should patients know before seeing their doctor? How can patients stay safe? WBEZ posed these questions to Kavita Shah Arora, head of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ Ethics Committee and Jody Madeira, a professor and Co-Director of the Center for Law, Society and Culture at Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law.