State Officials Pushing Legislation to Stop Sex-Offending Doctors

A recent Chicago Tribune report shows that Illinois policymakers are taking steps to stop sexual misconduct by physicians in this state.

State officials are pushing a number of bills that are aimed at stopping doctors who sexually abuse patients. The report details reforms such as legislation by Attorney General Lisa Madigan that would require law enforcement officials and state regulators to share patient complaints against doctors. State Rep. Mary Flowers plans to call a bill that would resurrect public access to physician profiles. And State Rep. Jack Franks has introduced legislation that would require revoking the licenses of doctors convicted of sex crimes.

According to a Tribune investigation, state regulators and law enforcement officials are not required to inform each other of patient complaints against doctors. As a result, it often takes multiple allegations before they take action. Illinois also recently stopped providing the public with detailed histories of doctors in the sate, including whether the doctor was convicted of a crime, fired by a hospital, or force to make medical malpractice payments within the last five years.

Other states such as California and Minnesota have much tighter restrictions. In Minnesota, it is a felony for doctors to have sexual contact with patients, even if the patients consent. Both states require that the license of any doctor with a sex-crime conviction be permanently revoked.

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