Dr. Phil Under Fire Again For Sexual Abuse

dr-phil_more-advice-that-i-pulled-out-of-my-assIn what seems to be becoming somewhat of a pattern, Dr. Phillip McGraw is once again being accused of sexual abuse by a patient. Mainstream media is just beginning to report the latest case, partially due to the lawsuit which was filed, alleging sexual molestation. The specific claims, which you can find here, along with several links, are rather bizarre.

It seems that Dr. Phil’s idea of “treatment” may include forcing a female patient (if we can call her a patient, since Phillip McGraw no longer has a license to practice medicine) to remain in a room with a naked man, and then having her breasts groped. Psychiatry seems to be the profession most prone to such abuses and perversity.  Many times psychiatric abuse goes unreported due to the private environment, imbalance of “credibility”, and patient trust. CCHR reports that over 10% of psychiatrists openly admit to sexually abusing their patients.  I wonder what percentage of psychiatrists admit to lying on surveys they use to self-report?

Dr. Phil was previously accused of sexual misconduct by Sara Morrison. “Not a single day has gone by when I haven’t been affected by what Phil McGraw did to me. He profoundly affected the course of my life,” she said. Dr. Phil’s latest accuser is Shirley Dieu. Her lawsuit comes not long afterward both McGraw and his wife were sued for fraud by former employees, Deborah Flattery and Brynja McGrady.

This is certainly an explosive story, and I suspect there are many more details in that lawsuit which the mainstream media, in typical fashion, will not touch. If anyone out there has more information, please comment below. Also feel free to comment to share your thoughts on this.  I’ve obtained a copy of the suit courtesy of Fox, and I will be reviewing it as time permits.

For more information on Psychiatric abuses see The Citizens Commission On Human Rights (CCHR).

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“You Did The Right Thing”

The principal shook my hand to assure me.”You did the right thing,” he said. Somehow I wasn’t convinced, but I accepted it, and tried to put it out of my mind.  I walked down the hall, back to class.  I was 13, I think, and wondering if I was going to see that little boy again.  I never did.  I was his “reading buddy”, and I had set into motion with only a few words, his removal from the school.

I was always good at reading, and one of the few children in my class who had a strong aptitude for it.  At the time I was reading mostly fantasy. Tolkien was a bit of a challenge, but I got through the Hobbit and then, later, the Lord of the Rings.  I was excited about the prospect of using my reading skills to help another person, and so when we were first told about this “reading buddy” program our class would be doing, I was supportive. We were all going to be paired up with children just learning basic reading skill, and were going to assist them to be more competent.  Sure, it doesn’t take much skill to help a child read a book that only has a handful of words on each page, but anything that involved reading was a happy prospect for me.  You see reading comprehension and vocabulary was singularly the area I most excelled. It was a welcomed diversion from dreaded mathematics and geography.

The first time I met my new little friend, I was remarkably comfortable.  It was really the first time I had had any extended interaction with a younger kid, since the school practiced a form of segregation during recess, and because older kids just don’t talk to younger kids.  I had no siblings growing up, although, I did very much want a brother when I, myself, was very young.  I was impressed with how well he handled the material, and I mostly just provided encouragement.

He was a pretty outgoing little guy, after a while, and he lived on the same street that I did.  The odd time, we’d end up walking back together from school and talking.  I can’t recall much of anything that we talked about, really…  I don’t recall much of anything of him at all. And I can’t say what his exact words were when he told me about how his father touches him.

I was surprised and yet somehow remained nonchalant as I asked him questions to try and clarify what exactly he was talking about.  I don’t even remember those, but I remember saying good bye to him.  I turned back to watch as he walked along the street, now only a few houses down from his own. I walked on home, in my mind a sort of conflict was developing.  I didn’t really know what to do.  “Could I just be misunderstanding somehow?  Could it be nothing? He didn’t seem scared, or traumatized or anything except a normal little kid.  Maybe it was nothing,” my mind ran through the possibilities and tried to rationalize. I let him walk back home…  A decision which may or may not have been prudent.

I didn’t ask for anyone’ advice that afternoon.  The next day, at school, I had decided in “better safe than sorry” fashion, to go speak to the principal.  I told him what was said to me, and his face grew increasingly grave as I spoke. “You did the right thing,” he told me.  Was I convinced? Maybe not 100%, but I wanted to believe I was doing good. I wondered why it had to be me that would be put into that position. Later that day, I saw the principal talking to the child in his office, right as the police walked through the front door.  How I just happened to be there at that moment, is another mystery, and yet I did. That was the last time I saw the boy. I was assigned to another child as their “reading buddy”, and the program was ended shortly later.

I didn’t really know what was going to happen to him, and I can’t say at what point I began to feel the weight of the decision I had made. My mother, upon my telling her the story, once I had gotten back home that day, was not explicitly supportive. Rather than reassuring me, she mentioned the consequences of the event, and the possibility I had over-reacted.  How much of the uncertainty that followed was a result of that, I’ll never know.

Him and I developed a relationship, even if it was a superficial one.  He looked up to me, and he trusted me.  I didn’t make the decision to phone the police, but I did make the decision to tell the principal.  I can only imagine that the principal himself spoke to the boy afterward, and felt certain by what he was told, that crimes were taking place.  The idea the entire event could have been some misunderstanding is absolutely horrifying, but it’s not a valid argument for silence.

It was so many years ago now.  I can’t remember his name, or even his face really….  I can’t help but wonder what became of him, and if his life truly was improved by the choice I made.  I wonder if he felt betrayed, sitting in the office (a place nearly completely associated with bad behavior), and being questioned. Wherever he is, I hope he is well, and that I did do the right thing, like I was told.  I think there’s a strange compulsion we sometimes have to deny the reality of something too terrible or burdensome to accept. It would have been easier to just rationalize what I was told, and forget about it…  And, in fact, I have forgotten it. Yet between quickly casting it from my mind, I repeated those words to the principal, and so transferred that burden onto him.  I’m not sure then, why I still feel the entire chain of events rested solely on my own actions.

Did I do the right thing?  I hope so… I hope so…  But isn’t it a strange thing to hope for?  I still want to believe that maybe it was just a misunderstanding, but it not being one is the only possible way I can feel vindicated for turning his life upside down.  It was a burden that seemed to great at the time, and perhaps remains one today.

Child Psychiatrist Is A Child Rapist, Keeps License

Dallas News reports that Dr. William Olmsted pleaded no-contest to charges of child molestation, and is still able to practice as a psychiatrist:

Editorial: Sex offender should not hold medical license

04:57 PM CDT on Monday, September 14, 2009

Few yardsticks in life are better than the headline test. Try it on this one: “Sex offender keeps license to practice psychiatry.”

It gets worse, as in: “Doctor’s offense involved a 10-year-old neighbor.”

To say that something is out of whack in state law is an understatement. The case involves Dr. William Olmsted, a child psychiatrist who pleaded no contest to a molestation charge in Dallas County but was able to skate past the State Medical Board with his license intact, albeit with restrictions.

Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, has vowed to look into the matter, and we’re encouraged that he will. Those who have a state license to treat people at their most vulnerable must be beyond reproach. Those listed on the state’s sex-offender registry could not fit into that category.

State law should be tightened up so future Olmsted-like cases don’t fall between the cracks of separate state codes governing criminal, licensing and administrative law. By the time the State Medical Board got the Olmsted matter, it was six years old and involved a sentence of deferred adjudication – probation, essentially.

The age of the case and absence of a guilty verdict did not permit the board to immediately suspend Olmsted’s license. Pursuing revocation could have involved proceedings lasting as long as two years before a separate state hearing agency, and all the while the doctor could have continued to practice as a child psychiatrist.

The deal cut with Olmsted involves treatment and a fine, but it let him keep his medical license with the restriction that he treats only adult males in group or institutional settings. The fact that he has any kind of professional license at all leaves us aghast, but not nearly to the level as the psychiatrist’s victim and her family.

Changes in state law might seek to insert deferred adjudication as a license-suspension trigger, or cases involving sex offenses may need to be expedited through the hearing process. We’ll watch Carona’s conclusions with interest as he looks for ways to bring sense to the licensing process.

The spirit of his inquiry ought to be driven by the determination to hold state-licensed physicians to the highest standard in Texas.

Source: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/opinion/editorials/stories/DN-sex_15edi.State.Edition1.2a7a795.html

An earlier press released from the Citizens Commission On Human Rights, a mental health watchdog group, includes this dramatic statement:

“A 1998 review of U.S. medical board actions against 761 physicians disciplined for sex-related offenses found that while psychiatrists and child psychiatrists account for only 6% of physicians in the country, they comprised 28% of perpetrators disciplined for sex-related offenses.”

Question for readers:

Do you believe a psychiatrist already convicted of sexual abuse should be allowed to retain their license and continue to practice?

Also see Child Psychiatrist Is A Child Rapist, Keeps License on Open Salon for more comments.

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