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Portugal's convicted paedophile doctors continue to work with children

doctorpaedoA sub-group of Portugal's Medical Council said today that there are doctors convicted of paedophilia who continue to work with children.

Dra Heloísa dos Santos will be heard tomorrow by the Committee on Education, Science and Culture about the proposed new paedophile register and has already stated that if the new law goes ahead it still will not cater for those doctors who already have been convicted of paedophilia.

Dra dos Santos said that there are a convicted paedophile doctors who continue to work with children because "nobody respects the law, in particular employers."

Heloísa dos Santos cites the Lanzarote Convention for the protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse, also the 2009 Portuguese legislation which covers the ‘recruitment for jobs, functions or activities, public or private, even if unpaid, the exercise of which involves regular contact with minors.’

Under this legislation, "the recruiter is obliged to ask the candidate for their criminal record and then to consider the information with regard to the candidate's suitability for the performance of duties."

According to Dra dos Santos, who belongs to the National Board of Medical Ethics and Compliance of the Medical Council, this legislation "is not being followed."

The Ethics Board recently drafted a statement on paedophiles doctors, which recommends that the Medical Council can "determine that a proven paedophile doctor is specifically disqualified to treat minors, based on the principle of the protection of patients..."

The Council also agreed to request a formal hearing with the Minister of Justice who, regarding the proposed new legislation, will be required to "enforce the introduction of the criminal records of those convicted for crimes of paedophilia and to keep them on record for the period of at least 23 years."


See also: Paedophile database, parents to have restricted access