Hospitals shield doctors
The Cleveland Clinic knew of at least two cases in which one of its surgeons was accused of raping patients but kept him on the staff while reaching a confidential settlement, an investigation found.
The Cleveland Clinic, one of the nation’s largest and most renowned hospitals, knew of at least two cases in which one of its surgeons was accused of raping patients but kept him on the staff while reaching a confidential settlement, a USA TODAY investigation has found.
Ryan Williams, a colorectal surgeon accused in police reports by two women of anally raping them in 2008 and 2009, left Cleveland Clinic last summer for another hospital, which placed him on leave after learning of the complaints against him.
As prominent men in government, the judiciary and entertainment lose their jobs after accusations of varied forms of sexual harassment, doctors accused of sexually assaulting patients are regularly unaffected professionally or publicly.
The same types of secret settlements criticized for their role in sex abuse and harassment cases from Hollywood to Capitol Hill are frequent in health care. Doctors and hospitals worried about their public image feel like, “If I can’t get silence, what’s in it for me?” says Jim Hopper, a clinical psychologist and expert witness in cases involving institutions’ treatment of patients.
“Why did he do it?”
The scene in Williams’ office after the alleged rape on April 11, 2008, was nothing short of pandemonium, according to a report filed by the Westlake, Ohio, police department.
Patient Lachelle Duncan was receiving a rectal exam from Williams, the