I have stumbled onto this discussion from something I noted in Concertina.net about lyrics for Captain O'Kaine. Please be patient with my comments as they are a bit circuitous. I have an answer to how the abuse of power exercised by the clergy could be obviated. Please read on.
I am 60 years old and have practiced Obstetrics and Gynecology for the last 31 years. I have seen the life long suffering of women who have been sexually abused as children. It is no different for those men who have been molested as boys.
Priests and physicians have in common the desire to help others. Both either work for G-d, do G-d's work, or think of themselves as at least being close to G-d, if not G-d like. (Tongue in cheek). Physicians in general have fallen off the pedestal and are no longer treated like G-ds but rather like people who have to learn to get along with others and conform to standards of good behavior (no throwing instruments in the operating room).
I had a startling thing happen to me when I finished medical school and submitted an application for a license to practice medicine in California. The first thing I had to do was go to the police department and have my fingerprints taken. I thought to myself, why am I being treated like a criminal? I am here to help people, I have not committed any crimes!
That was in 1979, 31 years ago. I have learned a lot in the intervening years. Physicians commit crimes, and commit them with some regularity. I read about them all the time……the Board of Medical Quality Assurance in California periodically publishes a list of all the physicians who have lost their licenses to practice medicine in California and the offenses for which they lost their license.
I am licensed to practice medicine in two states: California and Oregon. I am licensed by the federal government to prescribe narcotic medications. The hospital where I work requires me to resubmit my credentials for the practice of medicine every two years. The American Board of Obstetricians and Gynecologists requires me to maintain my Board Certification every year by submitting answers to articles that I've read. I have to repeat my Advanced Cardiac Life Support training every two years to stay current.
One may not be able to eradicate child sexual abuse, but if priests had to be licensed every two years like physicians it would be much harder for the abusing priests to hide. Priests could be licensed by the State just like physicians are.
Here are the questions on the form that the State of Oregon requires me to fill out every two years in order for me to maintain my license to practice medicine in the State of Oregon:
Has any state licensing board refused to license, refused to renew, denied you a license to practice, or asked you or permitted you to withdraw an application for licensure?
Have you had any disciplinary or adverse action imposed against any professional license or certification, or were you ever denied a professional license or certification, or have you entered into any consent agreement, stipulated order or settlement with any regulatory Board or certification agency, or have you been notified of any complaints or investigations related to any license or certification?
Have you been denied approval to prescribe controlled substances, or been charged with a violation of federal or state narcotic laws, or been asked to surrender your DEA number?
Have you been arrested, convicted of, or pled guilty or "nolo contendere" to ANY offense in any state in the United States or any foreign country, other than minor traffic violations, or a substance use related offense which has been evaluated by the Oregon Health Professionals Program and you are in compliance with their recommendations?
Matters in which you were pardoned or diverted, or the conviction was deferred or set aside, must be disclosed. Serious traffic convictions, such as reckless driving, driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, hit-and-run, evading a peace officer, driving while the license was suspended or revoked, or failure to appear, must be disclosed. This list is not all-inclusive.
Have you been contacted by or asked to make a response to any governmental agency in any jurisdiction regarding any criminal or civil investigation of which you are the subject, whether or not a charge, claim or filing with a court actually occurred?
Are you aware of any current, proposed, impending or threatened civil or criminal action against you? This includes whether or not a claim, charge or filing was actually made with a court.
Have you entered into any formal, informal, out-of-court or confidential settlement to deter, prevent, or settle a claim, lawsuit, letter of intent to sue, and/or criminal action? This includes whether or not a claim, charge or filing was actually made with a court.
Has any award, settlement or payment of any kind been made by you or on your behalf to resolve a malpractice claim, even if it was not required to be reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB); or have you been notified in any manner that any such claim is proposed, pending or threatened, whether or not a claim, charge or filing was actually made with a court?
Have you been restricted, suspended, terminated, requested to voluntarily resign, placed on probation, counseled, received a warning, or been subject to any remedial or disciplinary action during medical school or postgraduate training?
Have you had privileges denied, reduced, restricted, suspended, revoked, terminated or have you been placed on probation, been subject to staff disciplinary action or non-renewal of an employment contract, or been requested to voluntarily resign or suspend your privileges while under investigation from a hospital, clinic, surgical center, or other medically related employment; or have you been notified that such action or request is pending or proposed? Have you been allowed to withdraw your staff privileges from a hospital or surgical center?
Have you interrupted the practice of your health care profession for one year or more?
Have you ceased the active practice of medicine in your specialty?
Have you had, or do you currently have any physical, mental, or emotional condition which impaired, or does impair your ability to practice your health care profession safely and competently? Has there been any type of inquiry into your physical, mental, or emotional health?
Have you been admitted to any hospital or other in-patient care facility for any physical, mental or emotional condition?
Have you had, or do you currently have a dependency on the use of alcohol or drugs which impaired, or does impair, your ability to practice your health care profession safely and competently?
Have you engaged in the excessive or habitual use of alcohol or illegal drugs, or received any in-patient therapy treatment or been hospitalized for alcoholism, or illegal drug use, or been arrested or received a citation for a DUII (Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants) or DWI (Driving While Intoxicated)?
"Excessive" as used in this question means the use of alcohol or drugs that leads to disturbances, fights, arrest, injury, accident, illness, loss of consciousness, or other adverse consequences.
Have you been the subject of any chemical substance screening test which resulted in an indication of the presence in your body of any controlled substance, any dangerous drug, or alcohol level above .08% BAC? Have you refused to submit to any such test? This does not include those drugs taken by you as a result of a legitimate health care diagnosis, and prescribed for you in good faith by another licensed health care professional, unless the test was conducted as part of a criminal investigation, such as DUII.
Have you entered into a diversion program other than the Oregon Health Professionals Program for evaluation, treatment or monitoring for substance abuse or dependency, or for correction of communication or boundary issues, in lieu of or as a condition of resolving a matter before a health care program or facility, regulatory or licensing Board, or criminal or civil court; or have you been notified that such action is pending or proposed?
I certify that I am the Licensee, and the information submitted by me is true, accurate, and complete to the best of my knowledge. I understand that fraud or misrepresentation in applying for registration renewal may be grounds for disciplinary action by the Board, including revocation of license (ORS 677.205), and is reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank and/or appropriate national professional credentialing organizations.