I’ll admit right off the bat that one of the hardest things about writing this entry was coming up with a headline.
What can you start off with when you want to talk about an elected official who openly worries that a zero-tolerance policy of doctors sexually abusing their patients might cause doctors to leave Ontario for “greener pastures”??
According to the linked article, MacLaren stated:
“I am concerned that this goes overboard and will be extraordinarily hard—overly harsh—on doctors, to the detriment of health care in general, and certainly to the detriment of doctors in many cases: “A zero-tolerance policy on sexual abuse of patients by any regulated health professional.”
Any time you hear the term “zero tolerance,” I find that dangerous, because there always has to be consideration of leniency, of understanding and of tolerance. We are a tolerant society, so now to prescribe that we want to be, by law, intolerant, I think, is a very wrongful way to go.”
While I think that in many cases “Zero-Tolerance” policies are over-reaching and somewhat draconian, this is NOT one of those cases.
This is about healthcare workers violating the trust that a patient places in them to NOT sexually abuse them.
That’s pretty cut and dry.
What it appears that MacLaren is implying is that so many doctors might be made to feel uneasy by this policy that they will start leaving the province in droves, jeopardizing our health care system.
In other words, in MacLaren’s opinion, there are a high percentage of doctors who are pervy enough to throw ethics out the window.
I’ll point out here that I’ve worked in healthcare and healthcare IT for almost 3 decades. In all that time I can only think of one doctor I’ve known who crossed that line. And guess what..he’s not a doctor anymore…and that was without a zero tolerance policy.
No one is talking about eliminating due process!
He goes on to say:
“We’re going to make a situation where it’s such an unpleasant place and unfriendly towards doctors in Ontario. Of course, we’ve had pay cuts for doctors in the last couple of years. There’s going to be an incentive for them to go to greener pastures where they can make more money and they’re more appreciated.”
Few people will argue that doctors have faced their share of hardship over the past few years.
Yes, there are people who believe that doctors are all very wealthy, and drive expensive cars, and don’t have to pay for their offices, their equipment, their insurance or their staff…but those of us who do believe these things understand when doctors complain about not being adequately compensated.
But I digress….because that’s not the issue here.
MacLaren seems to be worried that doctors, no longer free to sexually abuse their patients, will head off to places where they don’t mind that sort of thing. (for the record, I have no idea where that would be)
What MacLaren is failing to consider is that an elected official making such an asinine argument is making Ontario an unpleasant and unfriendly place for women.