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The Doctors share the story of Ella and Stephanie, who have come forward to speak about the OB/GYN doctor who allegedly abused them and OB/GYN Dr. Nita Landry details what should never happen during a routine exam.
UCLA OB/GYN Dr. Heaps allegedly sexually harassed or sexually abused at least 100 women and he faces charges of two counts of sexual battery and one count of sexual exploitation by a physician, along with numerous civil cases.
Ella and Stephanie, along with their attorneys Darren Kavinoky and Jennifer McGrath, join The Doctors to discuss their experience and advocate that systemic changes need to occur in order to ensure the safety of patients. The attorneys explain that complaints about Dr. Heaps were reported as far back as 2014 and say UCLA did not take action until 2017.
Ella and Stephanie says that often times there were not chaperones in the room during exams with Dr. Heaps, and when there was someone else present, they were often not paying attention to what was happening. A change they are advocating for is the presence of an independent chaperone that is not beholden to the physician, along with a clear reporting mechanism to shed light on possible issues with doctors or staff.
OB/GYN Dr. Nita Landry, who says she always has a chaperone in the room for any exam, details what should never occur during an exam from an OB/GYN.
- A patient's appearance or attractiveness should never be discussed or commented on
- An ungloved finger should never be inserted
- A doctor should never refuse to have a chaperone in the room
- Sexual inuendos should never occur
"You should always feel you are in a safe, secure environment," Dr. Nita stresses. "If for any reason you do not feel safe during an exam, stop the exam." Adding, that anyone who feels unsafe during an exam should report the incident.
UCLA Health’s Statement released the following statement to The Doctors, "We are deeply sorry that a former member of our staff violated our policies and standards, our trust, and the trust of his patients. As an institution, we recognize that we must do more to provide the safe, supportive and respectful environment our community expects and deserves…Because we know we can and must do better, in March 2019, we initiated an independent review of our institution's response to sexual misconduct in clinical settings…Our process will be guided by the principles of transparency, accountability, fairness and devotion to our patients."