Michigan lawmakers submit bills to prevent future sexual abuse by doctors

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FILE – In this Jan. 24, 2018, file photo, Larry Nassar, a former doctor for USA Gymnastics and member of Michigan State’s sports medicine staff, sits in court during his sentencing hearing in Lansing, Mich. The FBI made numerous serious errors in investigating allegations against former USA Gymnastics national team doctor Larry Nassar and didn’t treat the case with the “utmost seriousness,” the Justice Department’s inspector general said Wednesday, July 24, 2021. The FBI acknowledged conduct that was “inexcusable and a discredit” to America’s premier law enforcement agency. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Today, Michigan lawmakers discussed a series of bills focused on holding medical professionals accountable when it comes to sexual misconduct.

This comes less than a week after several USA Olympic gymnasts testified at a Senate hearing in Washington about the abuse they experienced by former doctor Larry Nassar.

Mary Whiteford is sponsoring one of those bills. She says part of her inspiration behind this is to give some closure to Nassar.

Representative Whiteford’s bill requires health professionals to keep medical records on treatments involving vaginal or anal penetration for 15 years. Another bill would permanently revoke a health professional’s license if they are convicted of sexual conduct covering it as a medical treatment.

Today, one lawmaker even called out Michigan State University for its response to sexual assault reports involving Nassar, saying the school failed to protect survivors.

“This is important because in so many of these cases as in the Larry Nassar case. The abuse was systemic,” said Rep. Daire Rendon (R-Lake City)

“A medical professional who violates the trust of a patient in a sexual manner must not have the opportunity to continue to victimize their victims or anyone else. Their licenses would be revoked under this plan. The very trust in these relationships makes these violations especially egregious,” said Rep. Anette Glenn (R-Midland.)

So, what’s next?

The judiciary committee will review the bills and decide whether to send them to be voted on by the full house.

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