Sexual abuse of doctors by doctors: professionalism, complexity and the potential for healing

Louise E Stone, Kirsty Douglas, Imogen Mitchell and Beverley Raphael
Med J Aust 2015; 203 (4): . || doi: 10.5694/mja15.00378
Published online: 17 August 2015

Sexual abuse in the medical profession is a complex, multifaceted problem that needs evidence-based solutions

Contemporary attitudes to sexual abuse are changing. The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the response of the Australian Defence Force to allegations of sexual abuse in the military and the work of the Australian Human Rights Commission around sexual harassment in the workplace all indicate a shift in community values. They also represent a shift in our understanding of the nature and scope of professionalism. As each respected institution has its professional failures exposed, it becomes obvious that no group is immune. Existing codes of professional conduct have not protected colleagues or clients from toxic behaviour.

  • Louise E Stone
  • Kirsty Douglas
  • Imogen Mitchell
  • Beverley Raphael

  • Australian National University, Canberra, ACT


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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