After an investigative report by the Chicago Tribune highlighting cases of doctors remaining in practice after being convicted of felonies and sex crimes, Illinois politicians have responded by introducing a new round of measures to stop sex-offending and predatory doctors through harsher reforms than were previously proposed by state lawmakers.
With the support of the Illinois State Medical Society, new legislation requiring health care workers convicted of sex crimes and forcible felonies to automatically and permanently lose their licenses has been brought to the state. According to the Illinois State Medical Society lobbyists, there has been a call for major medical disciplinary reform and this new legislation will play an instrumental role in reducing medical malpractice cases and in protecting patients.
This new legislation sponsored by State Senator Kirk Dillard and State Representative Will Burns clearly states that a sex crime or forcible felony conviction would elicit an automatic licensing revocation. In addition to the mandatory revocation, the measures would require criminal background checks of all doctors and a far greater number of medical investigators to ensure that no doctors in violation slip through the cracks. The law would also mandate that anyone having to register as an Illinois sex offender could not receive a medical license.
A Chicago medical malpractice lawyer in support of this legislation has pointed out that these new laws are long overdue and that legislation of this type is in the best interest of medical patients throughout the state. This new law would benefit patients by resurrecting online profiles of doctors revealing whether the physician has been fired, convicted of a crime, or has made a medical malpractice payment in the past five years in addition to the automatic license suspensions. With the backing of the Illinois State Medical Society, victims' advocates, and medical regulators, the odds are favorable that new reform will pass further protecting patients.