Gynecological Abuse

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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 [1].  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 [2][3].

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 [4].

[1]  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.

[2]  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.

[3]  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.

[4]  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. 

See, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/education/2020/11/16/university-california-james-heaps-73-m-sex-abuse-settlement/6319799002/.

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38 Comments

Filed under Abuse of Power, Justice, Law, Rape, Sexual Assault

38 responses to “Gynecological Abuse

  1. It’s hurtful to experience such from a professional you’ve visited for help. Worse still that the system makes it harder for the victims to get justice.

  2. This is very disturbing and disgusting.

  3. This happened to me when I was 15. Drugged and raped by my doctor. Two nurses realized what was going on and reported him to the police. The police searched his office and found tape recordings in his desk that he had made of his rapes. I wasn’t the only victim. He committed suicide before he could be brought to justice.

  4. This kind of behaviour is shocking. After having a smear test done many years ago I was advised by my GP Doctor to have a small spot removed caused by using tampons. I duly went for the minor operation. I do not know what the staff did to bring me out of the anesthetic but my face and neck was black and blue.

    This was not the worst of it, 6 weeks later I had to go to have an internal at the hospital. The young male doctor seemed to be enjoying the whole procedure more than me I was 32 years old. I did not tell my GP and I should have reported him but from that day onwards I refused to have smear tests done. The spot now I know could be been cured with Tea Tree oil on a tampon I did not have to endure all the pain and embarrassment.

  5. This is nauseating even to imagine that there exist such perverted men donning the noble medical coat and committing heinous crimes..

  6. Dear anna, I have nominated you for the Sunshine Blogger Award. Please check my latest post.

  7. in

    These situations are getting worse and worse. Awareness is key. Thanks for doing your part in that.
    ♥️

  8. Revolting. If only the medical license is lost, another way will be found.

  9. Anna, the whole world revolves around abuse… doctors, priests, scout leaders… when will it ever end. How will it, if ever be stopped? It is an entangled web of deceit and barbaric behavior.

  10. Such behavior is shameful and disgusting. That is the reason in India it is mandatory for a lady attendant to be present for any kind of medical check-up, by a male doctor. It may sound ancient, and not 100% foolproof but very reassuring to the lady patient.

  11. Quite the sick guy to say it softly.

  12. I have never read about this case but not surprised at all to hear this nauseating recount of sexual assault when women are at their most vulnerable. You have to wonder will it ever stop. Educating the public like you are doing is an important step. Thank you for what you do Anna. Love J

  13. I would never have imagined that something like this would occur. I always respected the profession and would not even think of medical professionals engaging in such sick behaviour, however, during my 30 years in law enforcement I did witness a steady downward spiral wherein society is trapped. People, including health professionals, are now much more vulgar, much more violent, much more willing to take chances and commit crimes against the very people that seek their assistance for something so delicate, so important, as their health. If you ask me there is no punishment that they can get that would equal their horrific crimes.

  14. so sad — & so very very brave of the women who do come forward…

  15. Pingback: Gynecological Abuse – NarrowPathMinistries

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