BERLIN - From Croatia to France, from Germany to Italy, a team of journalists came across cases of sexual harassment and sexualised violence in physician-patient interactions.

Many of the victims who openly spoke about their cases and/or reported them to the authorities, often talked about the lack of action on behalf of the abuser’s superiors and a “medical omertà” that protects them. Some of the doctors have been allowed to continue to practice despite ongoing trials or convictions. In an in-depth cross-border investigation, the team sought an answer to the following questions: How often does sexual harassment and abuse occur in physician-patient relationship? How is it possible that doctors’ career is not jeopardised despite their malpractice? Why do authorities often seem unable to stop and track doctors-harassers? And does the current EU legislation allow them to move countries without repercussion?  when they travel from one EU country to another? 

For the first time ever in Europe, an investigation focuses systematically on the #MeToo topic in the medical sector. The journalists are looking into the mechanisms that fail in allowing a better screening of doctors across the EU-countries but also into specific problems in Croatia, France, Germany and Italy.

Illustration: Christina S. Zhu

Team members

Margherita Bettoni

Margherita Bettoni is a freelance investigative journalist specialising in organised crime and gender-based violence. 

Juliane Löffler

Juliane Löffler is a Senior Reporter at BuzzFeed News. 

Cécile Debarge

Cécile Debarge is a freelance journalist specializing in migration and human rights.

Cécile Debarge

Jelena Prtorić

Jelena Prtorić is a Croatian freelance journalist based in Berlin.

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