In the State of Louisiana, to make it a crime and would prohibit sexual activity between a psychologist, a psychiatrist, or a psychotherapist and their patient, with or without consent
Please sign the petition and share it with anyone you know who will support this bill. You DO NOT need to live in Louisiana to show your support.
Therapist abuse is using the imbalance of power in the therapeutic relationship to control, manipulate, and exploit clients, including their sexuality. Trusted and respected, it is common for patients to admire and feel attracted to their therapists. However, a therapist who accepts or encourages these normal feelings in a sexual way — or tells a patient that sexual involvement is part of therapy — is using the trusting therapy relationship to take advantage of the patient. According to a study by Kenneth S. Pope, Ph.D., ABPP, author of Ethics in Psychotherapy and Counseling, about 90% of patients are harmed by sex with a therapist.
FACTS ABOUT SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF PATIENTS BY PSYCHOTHERAPISTS
Psychiatrists have a fiduciary responsibility to patients. Thus, a sexual relationship between a psychiatrist and patient is not between two consenting adults.
• ("Fiduciary" is defined as "a person to whom property or power is entrusted for the benefit of another.")
There is a long-standing consensus in the medical profession that sexual contact or sexual relations between physicians and patients is unethical. It’s even mentioned in the Hippocratic Oath.
• “…I will come to the benefit of the sick, remaining free of all intentional injustice, of all mischief and in particular of sexual relations with both female and male persons…”
The American Psychiatric Association declares it unethical.
• The American Psychiatric Association’s Principles of Medical Ethics states: “…the inherent inequality in the doctor-patient relationship may lead to exploitation of the patient. Sexual activity with a current or former patient is unethical.”
The American Psychological Association does too.
• The American Psychological Association’s Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code Of Conduct states “Psychologists do not exploit persons…such as clients/patients…. Psychologists do not engage in sexual intimacies with current therapy clients/patients.”
Unfortunately, too many of them do not heed their profession’s codes.
• This is well understood by government and law enforcement: As of 2004, there have been more than 25 statutes enacted to address the increasing number of sex crimes against patients by psychiatrists and psychologists in the United States, Australia, Germany, Sweden and Israel.
• A review of criminal convictions of mental health professionals from 2008-2012 showed that 15% were for sexual violations of patients.
• A December 2012 study from Canada reported that psychiatrists are twice as likely as other Canadian doctors to face professional discipline and almost four times as likely to be sanctioned for sexual misconduct (sex with patients).
• A nationwide survey revealed that 10 percent of psychiatrists acknowledged sexual contact with patients. 84 percent of these contacts were between male therapists and female patients.
• One study showed that nearly half the patients that are sexually abused by psychiatrists are people who have histories of child sexual abuse, incest or rape.
Sex between a psychotherapist and patient usually leads to harm for the patient.
• Fifty percent of psychologists responding to a national survey reported treating at least one patient who had been sexually involved with a prior therapist. Some form of harm to the patient was reported to have occurred in at least 80% of these instances. Similar statistics (including harm) were reported in a national survey of psychiatrists.
• Fourteen percent of patients sexually abused by their psychiatrist attempt suicide. One percent succeeds. Another 11% ended up hospitalized because of the harm caused to them.
Please show your support, sign the petition and join me in protecting our families and citizens of the state so that if anyone else, like myself, has to endure these horrendous abuses by a health professional , they are able to exercise their civil liberties under this proposed bill when it becomes law.