Free Union Doctor Reprimanded

By: Lisa Ferrari
By: Lisa Ferrari

January 2, 2006

An Albemarle County doctor has been reprimanded for allegedly having sexual contact with several patients.

According to documents from the board of medicine, Free Union Dr. Bruce Campbell Jr. has had sexual relationships with some of his patients. One biomedical ethics expert we spoke with said not only is it unethical but it's a violation of the laws that govern doctors.

"Its definitely serious any time the board tries to investigate a doctor. These are not things doctors take lightly," said UVa Center for Biomedical Ethics Director Dr. Paul Lombardo.

An investigation by the Virginia Board of Medicine found that Dr. Bruce Campbell engaged in sexual contact with five patients on multiple occasions. The consent order released on December 12 says three of those patients were at one time also his employees.

"Doctors are in a position of power [and] patients are vulnerable, particularly when they have their clothes off," said Lombardo.

The board also reprimanded Campbell for prescribing controlled substances to two of these patients without documenting it appropriately. Campbell signed the consent order neither admitting guilt nor denying the allegations.

"One of the current rules of the board of medicine is that doctors will not engage in relations with people who are currently their patients. When this kind of presumption is violated, the board is able to investigate and set conditions on someone's ability to practice," said Lombardo.

The board of medicine has ordered Dr. Campbell to continue seeking psychiatric counseling; to have a female chaperone present during all gynecological exams; and not to treat nor prescribe meds to his employees.

Dr. Campbell did not return calls today but his attorney told us these are just allegations and nothing has been proven. Patients of Campbell's we spoke with say he is a great doctor and couldn't believe he would do anything like this.

The Virginia Board of Medicine will again review this case and Dr. Campbell's progress in one year.

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