Paper Example on Sexual Abuse

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  889 Words
Date:  2022-08-31


In June of 2013, a 54-year-old doctor from Michigan was convicted of 8 counts that involved teenage girls between 2002 and 2010. Mr. Kassem Hallak, is said to have committed most of the assaults while working at the Charlotte Medical Centre and Urgent Care Facility. The medical board revoked Hallaks's medical license when the first allegation came out. The former doctor was originally facing 11 counts of sexual abuse but was acquitted of three counts. He was convicted of one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, another one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct and six counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct (Murray, 2015).

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The 11 women who came forward accused him of touching them inappropriately while they were in his medical examination room. One of the victims, a 14-year old girl told police that Hallack touched her buttocks and spanked her. Another girl said Hallack touched her crotch when giving her a school sport physical. Another victim said that Hallack pinned her to the medical examination table and raped her. Hallack denied all the charges and cited his medical records as his backup. He however refused to speak at the sentencing.

The Judge handed Mr. Hallak the maximum sentence of 15 years with the possibility of parole after seven years. Hallak will also have to register as a sex offender and will be required to wear an electronic monitor throughout his life.

Analysis Current State Protections for Victims

The report cards indicate that most states are performing average in terms of the overall protection they give their patients and punishment for perpetrators ( Teegardin & Datar, 2017). The overall score for most states is between 50 and 69. Even then, there are some commendable performances from individual states such as Delaware. Delaware main area of strength is the duty to report sexual misconducts. All colleagues aware of a doctor's sexual misconduct have a 30-day window to report the mater or risk facing disciplinary action themselves. The same applies to local authorities who fail to notify the practice of medicine about an ongoing investigation of a doctor. A similar situation resonates across Virginia and Nevada despite performing poorly in their overall protection of patients.

The report cards also indicate that most states struggle in the area of transparency. For a state like Mississippi, the doctor's profile information does not include profile sanctions, criminal charges and orders from other states. Perhaps this is expected given that Mississippi is the worst performing state, but the same situation emerges even at the best-performing state such as Delaware. For Delaware, there is no information listed on the doctor's profile. An example of an incident in Delaware is the case of Dr. Gregory Villabona. Dr. Gregory had pleaded guilty to two criminal offenses in Maryland that involved a female minor. In 2003 Delaware medical board placed restrictions on his license but the court order stayed. The board shortened his probation and allowed him to only practice on patients aged 18 and above unless he had an adult chaperone and informed patients of his guilty plea in Maryland. The fact that such crucial information is not available on a doctor's profile is a reflection of the weak transparency available in most States. The only exception is Texas which only leaves out hospital sanctions on the doctor's profile.

It is quite shocking to discover that some of the lowest marks come from the criminal acts section. In the six states of Virginia, Rhode Island, Vermont, Missouri, Hawaii, and Pennsylvania, physicians are not required to undergo any background checks. For example, Dr. Dean Harris Woodward was allowed to return to practice despite raping a patient. Some years later a patient died after Woodward had wrongfully prescribed the wrong medications to the patient. As it turns out, all the six states have no criminal records specific to physicians. They also have no legal requirement to notify law enforcement of indecent conduct by medical practitioners. Woodward remains a free man.

Ethical Responsibilities

Regardless of the laws of the states, other employees in the hospital such as colleagues, and employers have the duty of beneficence which involves doing good to others on the grounds of moral obligation (Holm, 1995). Therefore, they have a responsibility to report any form of misconduct to the board and law enforcement. Some states such as Delaware and Virginia have the requirement for the colleagues to report unprofessional conduct by their peers to law enforcement agencies and the board of practice. As for the board, they also have the responsibility to notify law enforcement of any unprofessional conduct by of the physicians. Unfortunately, not all states have that requirement in their state laws. Boards must adhere to the principle of nonmaleficence where little harm happens to the public at the hands of doctors. However, boards also have the discretion to issue licenses to doctors that have been formerly convicted of sexual offenses related to the practice of medicine. At the moment few states such as Texas restrict boards from issuing licenses to doctors who have had their licenses revoked, suspended or under investigation in another jurisdiction.


Holm, S. (1995). Not just autonomy--the principles of American biomedical ethics. Journal of medical ethics, 21(6), 332-338.

Murray, J. (2015, May 28). PEOPLE v. HALLAK. Retrieved from FindLaw:

Teegardin, C., & Datar, S. (2017). How well does your state protect patients? Retrieved from Doctors & Sex Abuse:

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