When it comes to medical malpractice in New York, many people expect to hear about botched surgeries or negligent health care staff at nursing homes. While unfortunate, these are the tales of medical malpractice that typically make headlines. The last thing one might expect is to find a medical malpractice suit interwoven with allegations of pedophilia, sexual assault and rape.
Nevertheless, the NY Times reports that such are the claims brought against the Rockefeller University Hospital. When the doctor responsible for the suits retired in 1982, he was granted emeritus status with the university. He then passed away several years later in 2007 as a respected professional in his field. However, the recent allegations paint a much different picture of the endocrinologist who primarily treated boys who did not grow normally.
According to CNN, the victims who stepped forward made allegations ranging from inappropriate conduct to rape. What is perhaps most eerie about the development of the case thus far is the reported similarities between the tales told by now men who were treated at the facility in their preteen and teenage years.
The hospital has also been accused of being aware of the alleged inappropriate conduct and malpractice by the doctor but did not sufficiently address the issue. Some experts claim that this was in an effort to stem the embarrassment and bad publicity that the hospital would suffer. Yet, it was the hospital that dug up old wounds by hiring attorneys to investigate new allegations and reportedly sending out 1000 letters to former patients to make inquiries about the doctor’s past conduct.
Many speculate that this was not a sign of goodwill or remorse, but rather a response to the Child Victim Act law and its potential repercussions for the hospital. Whatever its intentions, the hospital may now need to pay millions of dollars in reparations. In spite of all this, the hospital reportedly continues to insist that new restrictions would prevent incidence like these from happening ever again. This may be true, but once was already one time too many. Imagine potentially thousands.