“We can make two possible mistakes. We can simply assume everyone wants to have sex with everyone else, all the time; which is untrue and could not be monitored at all. Or we can pretend that it’s all a joke, because ‘nobody would do something like that.’ That’s a fool’s errand indeed. So I suspect it means we’ll be needing a lot more chaperones from here on out.” —“Medical Chaperones in a Brave New World,” by Edwin Leap, MD, edwinleap.com, April 14, 2015
Revelations of sexual misconduct have recently been making headlines with shocking regularity. Like all boundary violations, these stories are, at their core, about the abuse of power. How society will respond remains to be seen. In the world of health care, the response to such abuse has increasingly involved the use of medical chaperones. So while we have touched on the subject in earlier issues, we felt the time had come to focus our full attention on the questions swirling around physicians’ use of chaperones.
The blogs below bring together information from a wide range of sources, both in this country and abroad (the UK health care system, in particular, has devoted a great deal of attention to the use of chaperones). We hope you find the issue enlightening and that you’ll share any questions and comments with us.