Policy: Sex abuse by doctors 'profound betrayal'

July 19, 2011 - 1:45 PM

CHICAGO (AP) — The nation's largest pediatricians' group has issued its first policy on protecting children from sexual abuse by doctors.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says medical facilities should screen employees for previous abuse. Parents should also be told they have the right to have a chaperone present during children's exams.

The policy calls sexual abuse of children by doctors "a profound betrayal."

In June, a former Delaware pediatrician was convicted of first-degree rape, second-degree assault and sexual exploitation of a child. Prosecutors say he recorded videos of sex crimes against more than 80 victims. Most were female toddlers.

The policy says the case is a reminder that doctors can use their position of authority to take advantage of patients. It will be in the August issue of the journal Pediatrics.