As an elected official, I swore to uphold the constitutions of Michigan and of the United States. Each day, while I am in the district or on the Senate floor I am reminded of the trust that has been placed in me to serve honorably.
In order to practice medicine, doctors, nurses and other medical professionals must vow to act ethically.
Unfortunately, there are instances in which these promises are broken.
Recently, I sponsored Senate Bill 235, which was signed into law as Public Act 222 on November 15. Under this measure health care professionals convicted of Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC) 1, 2 or 3 can have their licenses or registration permanently revoked. Additionally, licenses permanently revoked for any of those crimes cannot be reinstated.
I sponsored this legislation after I was contacted by a woman who had been assaulted by her dentist. She does not live in my district but contacted me due to my law enforcement experience.
As a former sheriff, I investigated multiple CSC cases and fought for strict penalties against the perpetrator and justice for the victim. People who commit such acts should not be providing medical care to potentially vulnerable patients.
As citizens, we put a massive amount of trust in physicians and other medical professionals to care for us and those who we care about. Someone who is ill or caring for someone who is ill has enough to worry about; sexual assault should not be one of their worries.
Sen. Rick Jones is chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and vice chair of the Senate Regulatory Reform Committee. He represents the 24th state Senate District, which includes Allegan, Barry and Eaton counties.