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A case in Mississippi

By JACK WEATHERLY 

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports in a series of articles published after a year’s investigation that sexual abuse of patients by physicians across the country is in many cases tolerated.

Of 2,400 physicians “publicly disciplined [since Jan. 1, 1999] for sexual misconduct, half still have active medical licenses today,” the report states.

Under the section on Mississippi, the series noted the case of Dr. Paul Howard Emerson, who, according to the newspaper, was “sentenced to 12 years in federal prison in 2010 for three deaths related to his improper prescribing of painkillers and other dangerous drugs. But that’s just the final chapter in a career that appears to have included sexual misconduct with patients at every turn.”

Emerson served in the Air Force in Mississippi, where he resigned in lieu of a court-martial for an unwarranted examination of the pelvic area of a female.

He began private practice in Mississippi, but a hospital terminated his privileges, according to the AJC report.

He subsequently worked in the Mississippi prison system but “was terminated in 1999 and was subject of a lawsuit that was settled.”

“He then moved to Michigan. The medical board in that state found that in 2000 and 2001 he had inappropriately touched four female patients. It put him on probation.”

“His license was suspended in 2005 after his felony conviction for carrying a concealed weapon. His 2009 plea agreement said he provided various controlled substance prescriptions in exchange for sexual favors.”

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