Background of Bill 974
Bill 974 is important legislation addressing the issue of medical abuse in Oregon. With a growing number of cases involving medical professionals engaging in sexual abuse and fraudulent representation, this bill aims to bring awareness and justice to the victims of such heinous crimes.
The bill specifically focuses on the lack of charges and accountability for medical professionals involved in sexual assault cases, seeking to close this gap and provide protections for patients. The bill has garnered attention, particularly in Clackamas County, due to a high-profile case involving David Farley, a doctor accused of using his medical practice for sexual gratification. This legislation aims to bring about stricter laws and oversight in the medical field, ensuring that abusive medical professionals are held accountable for their actions.
Summary of the Bill
Bill 974, also known as the “Crime of Sexual Abuse by Fraudulent Representation,” is a legislative measure aimed at addressing cases of medical abuse in Oregon. The bill focuses specifically on instances where medical professionals engage in sexual abuse or assault against patients under the guise of providing medical care.
The purpose of Bill 974 is to strengthen the state’s sexual abuse laws and ensure that perpetrators of such acts in a medical context are held accountable. The bill introduces several provisions to expand the definition of sexual abuse, remove the Statute of Limitations for bringing charges against offenders, and require sex offender registration for those convicted of this crime.
By targeting medical abuse, especially in cases where fraudulent representation is involved, the bill aims to protect vulnerable patients from harm and restore trust in the healthcare system. The passage of the bill signifies a commitment to addressing misconduct within the medical profession and providing justice to sexual assault victims.
Currently, certain statutes in Oregon’s criminal code allow for actions that would typically be considered sexual abuse, such as when it is deemed a medically recognized treatment or diagnostic procedure or when it is performed by a peace officer or corrections officer during a search for weapons, contraband, or evidence of crime.
Taking language from California’s criminal code, SB 974 would create the crime of “sexual assault by fraudulent representation.”
According to the bill, sexual assault by fraudulent representation is classified as a class B felony and can result in a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both.
Implications of the Bill
Not only does Bill 974 aim to protect vulnerable patients, but it also seeks to restore trust in the healthcare system. By addressing cases of medical abuse, especially those involving fraudulent representation, the bill sends a strong message that such misconduct will not be tolerated.
The law may discourage other physicians who misuse their trusted positions with patients.
Currently, there are no scheduled hearings for the bill.
 Bill spawned by West Linn doctor case unanimously passes out of committee – NewsBreak. (n.d.). NewsBreak. https://www.newsbreak.com/west-linn-or/2984753088702-bill-spawned-by-west-linn-doctor-case-unanimously-passes-out-of-committee