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The Bradley Case Recent Legislative Laws


The recent case of Dr. Bradley came as a horror to many. It is hard to believe that an individual in such a highly respectable profession would choose to dedicate his life to defiling innocent infants. It raised eyebrows as to what medical professional bodies are for if they cannot protect innocent patients from monstrous doctors. In all, it brought so many questions as to the medical career and it put a big mark on the profession and those involved. This explains the case, the various legal measures that have been undertaken to cover up the situation, and how these measures will affect the medical profession in the future.

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The Bradley Case

Dr. Bradley’s case is concerned with sexual abuse. In this case, Dr. Earl Bradley, a pediatrician, was arraigned in court in February 2010 to answer to charges of alleged sexual molestation of young children, as young as three months old, brought under his care as patients. He was accused of more than 100 cases of sexual assault and was labeled as “the worst pedophile in American history”. He was convicted in June 2011 of sexual molestation of a child, assault, and several rape counts. Consequently, the Board of Medical Practice suspended his work license permanently.

Legislative measures adopted

After the horrific news on Dr. Bradley’s case, the Delaware Legislature sought to enact some legal bills that would see the protection of young children from sexual molestation delinquent medical practitioners. Some of the components of these bills are:

  1. Criminal Background investigation before granting or renewal of a practicing license to medical practitioners.
  2. Increased fines and punitive measures to be imposed on medical practitioners found not to adhere to the required standards of the medical profession.
  3. Training for all stakeholders in child molestation cases. Police officers, doctors, and prosecutors are required to be trained on their role in reporting the cases.
  4. Authority of the Board of Medical Practices. The Board’s authority to deal with individuals who have flouted the professional code of conduct is increased.
  5. Individuals who fail to report on cases of child abuse will be fined double.
  6. Heavier penalties for individuals who, having moral obligation over the child, use that position to molest him/her.
  7. Reconstitution of the Board of Medical Practice to include members of the public and review its licensure. (Biden, 2011)

Effects of the legislative measures on the medical profession

These new legal rules will have a tremendous effect on medical practitioners in their professional careers. First of all, individuals who have past criminal tendencies will be denied a practicing license. This means that individuals who are allowed to practice are men of good morals and are morally sane. Further, with the authority of the Board increased, dealing with delinquent practitioners should not take so long at the expense of the patients. The increased penalties imposed for failure to report such cases will hopefully ensure that other medical personnel does not try to protect ‘their own’ by concealing such injustices.

Effects on the doctor-patient relations

Doctors are supposed to protect the patients not to be a threat to them. They have an equitable obligation to protect innocent people who come to them believing in their ability to help and cure their ailments. These new legal rules ensure that this duty to patients is not breached. Other regulations provide that “a parent, guardian or another caretaker, or an adult staff member, shall be present when a person licensed…provides treatment to a minor patient…” (Barbieri, 2010). This means that doctors are not allowed to be left alone with children for treatment except in emergency cases.


It is sad to know that a doctor cannot be entrusted with a small child for treatment by the parents. It is even tragic that a child as young as three months can be sexually molested by, least of all, a doctor. The state must regulate this relationship through legal measures. But more so, everyone must ensure that children’s lives are not ruined by mongrels in the name of ‘doctors’ by reporting such cases. Let’s all be careful of who we allow taking care of our children be it professionally, legally, or even socially.


Barbieri, A. M. (2010). Meeting Minutes: An Act to Amend Title 24 and 29 of the Delaware code Relating to the Medical Practice Act, The Board of Medical Plractice and The Department of the State. House of Representatives, state of Delaware, Legislative Hall, Dover, Delaware 19901.

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Biden, J.R. III. (2010), Bills stemming from Bradley investigation filed to better protect Delaware’s patients. Media Release, Department of Justice 820.North French Street, Wilmington, Delaware 19801.

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