Topic: About whistleblowing and whistleblowers.

It is difficult for patients to report doctors and cross-border sexual behaviour


Patients find it difficult to report transgressive sexual behavior by doctors. Psychiatrists believe that there may be large numbers in the dark, reports NRK Nyhetsmorgen.

- Many women hesitate to speak up because it is associated with shame and because you doubt yourself. It could be authorial fear. Or the one doctor in the village you have to go to, says one of several patients who are in contact with NRK after a series of doctors' sexual transgressive behavior was published on The woman was unsure whether what she was exposed to at the doctor's office was abuse or not.

The survey by NRK shows that almost 100 doctors have been accused of so-called sexual transgressive behavior towards the next 200 patients in the last 20 years. But many never report what they have been exposed to.

- I have thought that I have not been subjected to rape. I was in doubt as to where the line was. But now I feel that I have been touched in a place I shouldn't have been touched by strangers without permission and in a very vulnerable position, says another woman who reacted to what the gynecologist did to her. She told the doctor's secretary and her GP, but no one reported it to the supervisory authorities.

- I got there because I had an abortion, I was in a big crisis and didn't have the energy to be in the other situation.

Leader of the medical association Ann Karin Rime believes it is a social responsibility to try to prevent, uncover and stop cross-border sexual behavior towards vulnerable patients. She thinks it is difficult to say whether it is a dark figure.

Psychiatrist and former member of the patient abuse committee Karsten Hytten believes there are large dark figures:

- Firstly, I think there can be a great deal of confusion in the patient about what actually happened in that room. Secondly, there is a fear of what will happen if one speaks up. How will I be judged and how will the doctor handle me. How will I be met by a supervisory apparatus. A fear of it.

Too many are unsure whether what they have experienced is abuse or not.

- I actually thought back and forth for over a year whether it was only me who was vulnerable and insecure. I doubted myself. Then I spoke to some friends who had been through the same treatment and realized that there were very different ways in which it had been carried out. I chose to have a meeting with the manager of the clinic.

The clinic took her seriously and wanted input on how they could improve the routines to create security.

- It should perhaps be required by law that female health personnel are present together with the gynaecologist, says the woman who never reported the gynecologist she was seeing for any supervision. She didn't know what to do to alert. It should be on the wall in the doctor's office, she believes.

- It should be very clear what you do, who you turn to. A recipe on how to proceed.

(Reporters in the case were Anne Kari Løberg and Elise Rønningener - NRK P2 3 April 08.13)