violence based on imbalance of power

May 16, 2023 – 00:40

Last week news broke that Diego Javier Clementi, a gynecologist in Buenos Aires province, was indicted for alleged sexual assault against 16 women, all of whom were patients. Although the number of complaints against a single doctor is striking, allegations against doctors in this specialty for such crimes are becoming more common. We are referring to complaints that are filed with the police or judicial headquarters, not those that are reported informally, for example through social networks, which may have social impact but no legal validity. Not there.

The fact that there are more complaints about gynecological violence – including sexist actions or words during physical exams, humiliation or physical violence – does not mean that there are more acts, but that they have been reported less in recent years. has ceased to be tolerated or natural. And so they are prosecuted. Justice already has ten gynecologists who have been charged or indicted and some even with convictions, such as the case of a San Juan doctor sentenced to 17 years for molesting 14 women Is.

Despite the complaints, and that he already has six indictments, Clementi continues to come to his office. The problem is that there are no definitively established protocols or procedures for gynecological violence cases. Yes, there are cases of obstetric violence both nationally and in other countries linked to the former, but only when the woman is pregnant.

To begin filling this gap, the European headquarters of the International Planned Parenthood Federation produced the report “Gynecology and Obstetric Violence: A Form of Gender Violence” last year. Obstetric and gynecological violence is made possible by an imbalance of power between doctors and their patients, which contributes to a culture of human rights violations, the publication said.

The report mentions humiliation, verbal, sexual abuse as types of gynecological violence; Inappropriate observations about the client’s body or sex life; lack of respect for privacy and confidentiality; as well as physical abuse (slapping, pushing) and non-consensual vaginal/rectal penetration or contact for medical examination.

The Federation’s work concludes by pointing out the early and continuing training of medical professions involved in gynecological practices: “They continue to focus on technology to the detriment of human relationships and respect for consent”, and states That “part of the history of obstetrics and gynecological medicine is marked by a desire to control women’s bodies.

Gynecological violence, which is one of the types of gender violence, will be reduced to such an extent that women will come to know that not all abusive practices done by a specialist doctor should be accepted, but apart from the fact that It should be formally condemned. court.

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