CA: Dr. of sexual harassment's privileges revoked: court upholds revocation of staff privileges.
CASE FACTS: A physician who was identified only as John Doe, M.D.,
obtained staff privileges at Enloe Medical Center. The hospital's
bylaws prohibited the harassment (of any individual, including hospital
employees and patients) by a medical staff member. The hospital's
bylaws provided that the hospital could take corrective action against
any of its staff members whenever reliable information indicated the
conduct of a member was not consistent with quality patient care, or in
violation of the hospital's bylaws. Corrective action for sexual
harassment included termination of medical staff membership as well as
medical staff privileges. Pursuant to this authority, and in response to
a complaint by one of Dr. Doe's patients, the hospital appointed an
ad hoc committee to investigate the patient's complaint as well as
other complaints of misconduct against that had been lodged against Dr.
Doe. The committee reported its findings to the hospital's Medical
Executive Committee (MEC). The ad hoc committee found that there had
been a history of concerns about Dr. Doe's professional behavior
both at the hospital and other hospitals where he previously had staff
privileges. Ultimately, Dr. Doe stipulated to a 14-day suspension of his
privileges and agreed to pursue a course of psychiatric treatment.
Nevertheless, new allegations against Dr. Doe surfaced. The ad hoc
committee found that there were four new allegations of misconduct
against Dr. Doe. All of the allegations involved sexual misconduct by
Dr. Doe. The ad hoc committee recommended that Dr. Doe's medical
staff membership and clinical staff privileges be revoked. The MEC
convened a special meeting. Following the meeting, at which Dr. Doe
appeared, the MEC recommended that Dr. Doe's medical staff
membership and clinical staff privileges be revoked. Dr. Doe appealed.
The hospital's Medical Review Committee (MRC) was convened to hear
Dr. Doe's appeal. The MRC affirmed the order of revocation. Dr. Doe
COURT'S OPINION: The Court of Appeal of California affirmed
the revocation of Dr. Doe's privileges. The court held, inter alia,
that there was clear and compelling evidence that Dr. Doe had repeatedly
been involved in sexual harassment of both patients and hospital
personnel. Editor's Note: There is no place in the medical
profession for people like Dr. Doe. Hospitals would be remiss if they
failed to take appropriate action against such physicians in a timely
manner, and if necessary, acting summarily, to suspend such physicians
"privileges pending a formal hearing with notice and due process.
Unnamed Physician v. Enloe Medical Center, 2005 WL 428519--CA