Sociology Article and How It Relates to a Theory Essay

  • Length: 6 pages
  • Sources: 2
  • Subject: Sociology - Counseling
  • Type: Essay
  • Paper: #53751077

Excerpt from Essay :

Gallant, J. (2016). Alleged sex abuse victim's fight for justice turns into bureaucratic nightmare. Toronto Star. 2 Dec, 2016. Retrieved online: https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2016/12/02/alleged-sex-abuse-victims-fight-for-justice-turns-into-bureaucratic-nightmare.html



In this article, Gallant (2016) describes the ongoing legal battle between Sveta Kholi and her former neurologist, Paul O'Connor. Kholi has accused O'Connor of sexual abuse. After the complaint was lodged formally, a complex bureaucratic process ensued whereby the entire case appears to have been stalemated. The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario has a committee that formally handles complaints, and the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board (HPARB) is a civilian body that hears appeals specifically from that very same College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.



However, the bureaucratic complications become even trickier. According to the journalist, the College of Physicians and Surgeons also has an Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee. The HPARB has ordered on two separate occasions for the Inquiries, Complaints, and Reports Committee to keep Kholi's case open and launch a full investigation. The Committee has failed to comply, and admits that it "failed to adequately review her allegations from when she was his patient." The Committee also admits that it had only reviewed the facts of the case after the doctor-patient relationship had been terminated. Doctor O'Connor of course denies the allegations, but last year he officially resigned from his position and has agreed to not reapply for any physician license in any other jurisdiction. According to Gallant (2016), the Committee "took into account" the doctor's resignation and his agreement not to practice medicine any longer.



Recently, the Inquiries, Complaints, and Reports Committee agreed to take another look into the case but refused to send it on to the College's discipline committee. The discipline committee would have allowed for a public hearing. Moreover, the Committee claims that too much time has passed since the initial allegation and that the doctor does not have sufficient ability to mount his defense. Kohli's attorney cites numerous other instances of potential College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario misbehavior, as, for example, the College initially failed to pass on the complaint to the Inquiries, Complaints, and Reports Committee in 2006 when Kohli launched the first official complaint. Ten years of "back and forth" has stagnated the case, led to a situation where Kohli's mental health has deteriorated as a result.



The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario also claims that, "there has been a considerable societal shift in attitude towards allegations of sexual abuse since the complaints committee first considered this case," without offering any specifics as to what those changes might have been. The College claims that if Kohli had filed her first complaint today,
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the results and outcome might have been different, which does not seem relevant at all to their unwillingness to continue treating the case seriously at this time.



The College did finally ask that O'Connor appear in person so they could "caution" him informally. No formal discipline hearing was ordered, because doing so would have meant "O'Connor would have faced a range of penalties." Those penalties, if he was found guilty of sexual abuse, would have included the possibility of him losing his license and having to pay for Kohli's mental healthcare bills related to her need for counseling over the past several years since the alleged incident. Kohli had wanted to keep the issue a private matter, but her frustration at the College's lack of action encouraged her to come forward to the media. Potential outcomes had the College and the HPARB issued a disposition would have included "taking no further action, providing advice or recommendations, cautioning the physician, or requiring the doctor to complete a continuing education program."

 
Kohli had been seeing the doctor for several years: 1998 to 2003 or 2004, during which time Kohli claims that the doctor had made verbal as well as physical advances on her. After their professional relationship was terminated, Kohli did continue to see O'Connor, as well as stay in touch using email. In late 2005, Kohli insists Doctor O'Connor "tried to pin her down in her home and kiss her," but that was not the first time he had made such advances. Doctor O'Connor does not deny that these incidents took place, but insists that they did so after the patient-doctor relationship had been terminated. Kohli did actually file a report with the Toronto Police but charges were never laid. Now, O'Connor is claiming to have a "serious medical condition" that precludes him from appearing before a disciplinary hearing. Kohli simply wants the doctor's license to be revoked, pointing out that his resignation still leaves open the possibility that he might practice again in spite of his claim that he is ill and will not.

Explanation of Theory



Although a number of theoretical viewpoints can be used to frame this case, including structural-functionalism and symbolic interactionism, gender and medical paternalism are at the forefront of the issues. Therefore, a feminist perspective allows for a fruitful investigation of the event. The feminist perspective shows how the structural inequities built into a paternalistic medical system work against a female petitioner like Kohli. A feminist perspective provides the underlying framework for understanding the phenomena of sexual harassment of abuse, of abuse of power in the doctor-patient relationship, and of the dismissal of the allegations -- as not being taken seriously is a core complaint of…

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