ANNAPOLIS – The sponsor of a law that set up the Maryland Task Force to Study Health Professional-Client Sexual Exploitation has pledged that its report will not be left to gather dust in the state archives.
“This one is not going to be mothballed,” said Sen. Leonard Teitelbaum, D-Montgomery.
Teitelbaum said he would hold meetings with task force members and Department of Health and Mental Hygiene officials after the current legislative session ends. They will discuss implementing regulations this year, he said, and legislation will be introduced in 1997.
Among the 54 recommendations of the task force report:
-for licensure or certification, health professionals should be educated in “proper clinical boundaries” and the “importance in avoiding sexual exploitation of clients.”
-brochures on the subject should be distributed by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for display at health facilities and public libraries.
-employers may be held civilly accountable for their sexually exploitive employees’ behavior under certain circumstances, such as disregarding knowledge of the behavior.
-sexual assault recovery centers should provide training in treating victims of physicians.
-licensing boards should establish minimum penalties for sexual misconduct: six to 12 months suspension from practice for a first offense and revocation of license in Maryland after a second offense.
-“consent” should be eliminated as a legitimate defense for sexual misconduct. -the statute of limitations of five years after suffering injury should be eliminated, but the requirement that victims file suit within three years of realizing that harm occurred should remain. -30-