Connecting the dots: Abusive doctors continue to practice

 Megan Twohey’s article “Doctor? Sexual abuser? Or both.” in the Tribune on Sunday June 20th shows just how dangerous it is for citizens to blindly trust oversight agencies to do their jobs, even for doctors.  What is the alternative?:  providing citizens with the access they need to connect the dots for themselves and their fellow community members before abusers become repeat abusers, before another women gets victimized because the systems set up by men to regulate men fails.  Some might say it is just working the way it is intended to wor

“The Illinois Medical Practice Act, Hofer said, does not allow the department to permanently revoke a medical license unless a doctor has been twice convicted of felonies involving controlled substances or public aid offenses.

Under the law, other types of felony convictions — such as sex crimes — “may” be grounds for lesser disciplinary action, and the consequences of misdemeanor convictions are not mentioned.”

Is this fact not the height of sexism and complete disregard for the patients of all doctors around our state?  Take this example for a spin:

A doctor who rapes two women in his practice does not lose his license unless he is under the influence of drugs at the time of both assaults.  If he was stoned for just one he is still fit to practice unless he fraudulently over billed for his time on both occasions.  If he was stoned off his ass during one and over billed for the other he is still fit to practice.

I wonder how much it cost the Illinois medical community in campaign donations to allow rapist doctors from losing their licenses?  Only bought and paid for legislators would author such a ridiculously structured law.  How can a society that is so concerned for victims when their plight hits the airwaves care more about financial fraud than repeated sexual assault of our women?

“Minnesota is a rare state that bars felony sex offenders from serving as doctors. State legislators passed the law in 1995 in response to the disclosure that a repeat sex offender was continuing to practice.

“The legislature determined it shouldn’t be discretionary — that we needed something in place that required the board to take more serious action in cases of convictions involving sexual misconduct,” said Ruth Martinez, head of complaint intake at the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice.”

It will be interesting to see if during this campaign year our legislators have the intestinal fortitude to take on the medical lobby and right the wrong that Minnesota corrected 15 years ago.  From my perspective I find it hard to believe they will.

When the department filed a formal complaint against Jafari in October2001, citing the criminal outcome, he argued that the conviction was not grounds for discipline.

An administrative judge overruled his motions and moved forward with plans for a formal hearing.

But just as the hearing was about to take place in 2003, Jafari participated in a private conference with Dr. Allan Bennett, a member of the medical disciplinary board, who concluded Jafari was credible and that the case should be closed.

The full board agreed that the only necessary move was to tell Jafari to always have a chaperone present when examining a female patient.

Bennett could not recall the case.

“I can assure you that, at least when I was on the board, every effort was made to keep sexual offenders from practicing,” he said. “If that wasn’t done, then I can only assume that the medical disciplinary board disagreed with the court.”

Jafari said it was the right decision.

“It is important to understand that what could be perceived as an act of sexual misconduct by a non-medical person is in fact a routine, normal and medically necessary procedure for a physician,” Jafari said in a written response to questions from a Tribune reporter.

How did I know that this was going to lead to a secret meeting between two men to determine how a man should be disciplined for sexually assaulting women?  This is the quintessential example of everything wrong with our state and country.  What a joke!

“I told him it was upsetting that this doctor was in my surgical suite without my permission or knowledge all the while being a convicted sex offender,” she replied, according to notes she took of her conversation. “The investigator said, ‘You didn’t know anything about any of the other people in the room.”

Yup.  This says it all.

Jafari, 66, said in a phone interview that he operates his own private surgical practice at 6925 Cermak Road in Berwyn and also works at Grand Avenue Surgical Center in Chicago.

FYI

Ill Dept of Financial & Professional Regulation I’m not positive about this but I’m pretty sure the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation is worthless.

Will our legislators act?