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Jury deliberates whether hospital was negligent in sex abuse case

Today jurors in a hospital negligence case are continuing their deliberations in the first of over 90 lawsuits filed against the hospital. The lawsuit was filed by an anonymous man who alleges sexual abuse by his physician. He believes that the hospital should have discovered the doctor's activities; over 500 children were subjected to sexual abuse as a result.

Hospital negligence is just one aspect of medical malpractice. When patients check in to a hospital or medical care center, there is a certain standard of care expected by the establishment and the doctors, nurses, and staff. But when the hospital or staff makes a mistake due to negligence, the consequences can be devastating for the victims.

The accused physician, who died in 1998, was never brought to trial over the child sexual abuse charges. Though the abuse occurred from the 1960s through the 1980s, police only discovered the physician's activities in 2007. A homeowner began renovating what had once been physician's home and found thousands of pornographic pictures hidden behind a basement wall.

According to the hospital, they were not aware of what was going on. The physician had created a growth study that did not require monitoring. But it was this growth study that the physician used as a front to take the pornographic images of the children.

In addition to not monitoring the study, the hospital also paid for thousands of rolls of film and cameras and other equipment for the physician. So how did the hospital not know something was suspicious when the physician kept all the photos in his home?

There are many who have stepped forward to make claims against the doctor and how he forced them to pose for the pictures. The hospital had rules in place to protect children who were involved in research; the hospital should have made sure that the children were not being abused.

Source: NBC Connecticut online, "Hospital Sex Abuse Case Goes to Jury," Debra Bogstie, 05 May 2011

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