Monday, April 24, 2006

Predators on the Loose

Julia Sommerfeld and Michael J. Berens of the Seattle Times are sharing a powerful investigative series this week on sexual misconduct by health-care professionals. "License to Harm" shows that the state of Washington does little to stop the doctors, nurses, counselors and other health-care workers who have sexually abused hundreds of patients. After legally challenging the state to open its files and then compiling data from 1995 to 2005, Sommerfeld and Berens found that lax regulations have allowed some of these predators to keep their licenses. They also reveal that to be a registered counselor in the state, you only need four hours of training. In addition to their excellent use of computer-assisted reporting, they did some good old-fashioned leg work to come up with the stories' compelling anecdotes.


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