Sexual harassment is a form of sex-based discrimination that can happen in many different professional settings. For example, it may occur when an employee feels threatened by their supervisor or coworker. It also happens in schools where teachers or other students bully students. Doctors and patients may experience sexual harassment when together for medical reasons, such as an examination, test, or surgery. This post will discuss how to handle sexual harassment involving doctors and patients.
Gestures or touching that is not wanted- this includes kissing, hugging, and sexual intercourse, making off-colour jokes or comments about the patient’s body- this also extends to physical examinations that are done in a way that makes the patient feel uncomfortable, asking the patient about their sex life or sexual preferences, making comments that are derogatory to women.
Sexual relationships- this includes dating, marriage, or sexual intercourse between doctor and patient.
When the doctor is in a position of power over the patient (for example, when they are their boss), this can result in an uneven relationship where one person has more authority than another. This imbalance may put pressure on patients to tolerate inappropriate behaviour, which makes them uncomfortable.- Some situations include:
Patients may not report incidents because they feel like there will be no point reporting if nothing happens afterwards. Doctors who sexually harass patients often exploit the trust given by doctors to act unprofessionally. Patients with disabilities may experience physically dangerous encounters due to their lack of ability to fight back Doctors should take action against sexual harassment claims made against them instead of trying to intimidate the patient.
Suppose there is a sexual relationship between doctor and patient. In that case, it can be considered malpractice if the doctor uses this for professional gains, such as getting access or information they could not get otherwise.
Hostile work environment- Patients should receive proper medical care without having their experience compromised because of sexual harassment from a doctor. The first step is for the patient to tell the doctor how they feel about what has happened and make it clear that this behaviour needs to stop. Depending on where you work, the second option would be going directly to the hospital administration or human resources department.
If neither one of these options can help, consider reporting your situation anonymously through an ombudsman program, state licensing board, local health department agency, or legal services organization Doctors who are found guilty of sexually harassing patients may lose their license permanently and could face criminal charges. It’s important for doctors and those around them, such as other staff members and administrators, to know how serious this problem is.
As with any form of sexual harassment, patients have the right to be treated respectfully in a professional setting receiving medical care.- Doctors need to understand how important it is for their actions to reflect this and create an environment that does not allow for these behaviours. Patients should feel safe when visiting hospitals or doctor’s offices to receive proper treatment without feeling threatened by inappropriate behaviour from doctors.
Taking action against your doctor who sexually harasses you will help prevent other people from experiencing similar situations in the future. It may also lead to disciplinary action being taken against them if there was no previous record of problems or complaints about their conduct before now. You deserve respect while medical attention- don’t let anyone make you feel otherwise.
A patient’s health and safety always come first when visiting doctors or hospitals, which means any form of sexual harassment towards them during appointments must stop immediately.