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Someone should have filed a complaint in writing with the OMB (Boundary violation, inappropriate touching, etc.). In doing so, confidentiality could be maintained during the course of the investigation and the reporter is granted immunity from being counter-sued if they reported in good faith. However, the reporter also must waive their right to file a malpractice/negligence torte claim against the doctor.
Any legal agency or lawyer, counselor, doctor, or nurse should could have explained to the patients what their options were for reporting outside of the medical facility. What happened to mandatory reporting?
If any of the cases qualified, filing through the JCAHO Sentinal Event system might have been helpful in alerting others to the ongoing problems. Again, anonymity can be maintained and complaints surrounding patient safety are acted upon quickly and reported to the CEO of the facility (if the facility is in the JCAHO system). Logically, then, MCHC would have hopefully would have been obligated to discuss the situation with the OMB and an OMB investigator could have been sent there.
Patients can request copies of their personal medical records too. Having these reviewed with someone experienced in surgery/anesthesia/medical record keeping may have triggered one of them to question more what really happened to them and perhaps they could have had someone else file the complaint with the OMB for them.
Some of the patients who were also co-workers with the doctor might have been to file a Stalking Protective Order in Wasco County Court or with the police in The Dalles. If criteria was met to do that and granted by the judge there, this probably would have gotten the attention of MCHC, the OMB, and the police earlier on.
According to the Oregon State Bar, defamation cases are hard to prove even when one has truly been the victim of such circumstances. If the allegations were false, could'nt the doctor have filed complaints against the nurses, technicians, etc. with their respective boards in addition to the defamation suit MCHC feared to protect and defend himself?
From the "summary" section of a June 2003 (Vol.56, Issue 6, p.549-553) publication in Anaesthesia:
"Sexual hallucinations have been reported since the introduction of chloroform. Newer agents such as midazolam and propofol appear particularly prone to producing them. Some practitioners have been the victims of allegations resulting from the hallucinogenic effects of these drugs. Other individuals, including doctors, have used the amnesic effects of midazolam and other drugs to sexually assault victims."
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