WARNING: Graphic Images
A 73 y.o. gynecologist is alleged to have raped a total of 21 women, during the course of his employment at the University of Southern California . George Tyndall is said to have sexually penetrated his victims while they were unconscious. He has pleaded not guilty.
The women, who range from 17 y.o. to 31 y.o., were being seen at the campus health center. That Tyndall would have taken advantage of women in this setting is despicable. That he did so while these women were under anesthesia was particularly craven.
His actions obviously violated the Hippocratic Oath Tyndall had sworn to uphold.
Not the First
But Tyndall is not the first gynecologist to have abused his patients. Columbia University gynecologist, Robert Hadden, is accused of having sexually assaulted over 75 patients – Evelyn Yang, the wife of former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, among them .
Hadden fondled the genitalia of his patients and masturbated them. He forcibly manipulated their nipples. Stunned, the women did not expect to be believed. At least one patient, however, advised Columbia of these violations.
Hadden continued to practice for years, ultimately reaching a “sweetheart” deal with the Manhattan district attorney’s office which allowed him to surrender his medical license and go free. Thankfully, that deal is being re-examined. Hadden’s victims are, also, bringing civil suit.
Unconsented to Touching
No woman enjoys visiting the gynecologist. Most of us feel foolish, uncomfortable, and vulnerable dressed in a paper gown with our legs splayed. Add to that the embarrassment of discussing our intimate problems with a comparative stranger, and the anxiety of a possible breast, ovarian, or uterine cancer diagnosis.
Each of us has the right to determine who touches our bodies. Consent to a gynecological exam does not constitute consent to sexual assault .
 New York Daily News, “Former USC gynecologist pleads not guilty to sexual assaults of five more women” by Nancy Dillon, 7/24/20, https://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/ny-usc-gyno-george-tyndall-pleads-not-guilty-new-sex-assault-charges-20200724-fevl7rs32necneraqsmlal5pkm-story.html.
 New York Times, “19 Women Accused a Gynecologist of Abuse. Why Didn’t He Go to Prison?” by Jan Hansen, 10/22/19, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/22/nyregion/robert-hadden-gynecologist-sexual-abuse.html.
 CNN, “Exclusive: New evidence shows a patient warned Columbia University about OB-GYN’s alleged sexual assault decades ago” by Nelli Black, Robert Kuznia, and Drew Griffin, 2/28/20, https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/28/politics/columbia-sexual-assault-letter-warning-invs/index.html.
 To protect their patients (and protect themselves against unfounded claims) many gynecologists make certain a female nurse or assistant is present in the exam room during procedures.
The University of California has reached a proposed $73 million settlement in a class action suit against Dr. James Heaps for gynecological abuse. Heaps treated more than 6000 patients at UCLA over the course of 35 years there.
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