The effort to protect patients following the massive abuse of pedophile pediatrician Earl Bradley has made Delaware the top state in a recent national study of patient protections.
Following the 2010 indictment of Bradley on charges of abusing more than 100 young patients, Delaware took a number of steps to improve protections for patients. That effort is being recognized in a new report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
As part of the newspaper’s 50 state investigative report, Delaware ranked best in the nation when it comes to protecting patients from sexually abusive doctors. Delaware scored a 91 out of 100 in the report which looked at areas like transparency, make up of the state medical board, and reporting requirements of physician misconduct.
“In Delaware, we are committed to protecting our neighbors when they are at their most vulnerable,” said Gov. Jack Markell in a statement. “The most important duty of state government is to keep its citizens from harm.”
Following the Bradley case, Markell signed a series of reforms into law in 2010. Those measures came after a review of the state’s existing laws by Delaware’s then-Attorney General Beau Biden. Those reforms included a reorganization of the state Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline to add more members of the public. That board was also given more power to suspend medical licenses faster when there is a threat to the public. The reforms also increased reporting requirements and penalties for those who fail to report child abuse.
“The tragedy of the Bradley case remains incalculable, but the improvements to our laws and regulatory structure since will substantially protect future patients,” said David Mangler, director of the Division of Professional Regulations.
The issue of protecting children from abuse became a key part of Biden’s legacy as attorney general. Following his death in 2015, his family started the Beau Biden Foundation for the Protection of Children in his honor. The foundation works to ensure that all children are free from the threat of abuse.