Rockefeller University Hospital, a prominent research institute, is in the spotlight for a potential coverup of a now-deceased doctor’s sexually abusive behavior over many decades. Dr. Reginald Archibald, the deceased doctor in question, was an endocrinologist and growth specialist who treated many children in their adolescent and teen years who were having trouble growing normally. Many parents relied on Dr. Archibald’s expertise in determining what can be done to help their children grow. Dr. Archibald enlisted many of his patients in “research and study” programs.
Dr. Archibald would have his patients take off their clothes, and he would touch them inappropriately. A few of Dr. Archibald’s male patients reported that Dr. Archibald would request that the patients masturbate in front of him, behavior that is without question abusive and reprehensible. At such a young age, many patients were unaware of the line between legitimate medical treatment and sexual abuse. Additionally, young children may be afraid to come forward and articulate their concerns. Many patients state that Dr. Archibald was an “authoritative” figure held in high regard. As such, because of Dr. Archibald’s status with Rockefeller University Hospital, many reports of abuse may have gone unnoticed.
What Did Rockefeller University Know About Dr. Archibald’s Alleged Abuse of Patients?
Rockefeller University Hospital first notified Dr. Archibald’s former patients in the fall of 2018, revealing that the Hospital had become aware of Dr. Archibald’s “inappropriate behavior” as early as 2004. The letter sent by Rockefeller University Hospital to these patients indicated that reports of abuse were investigated. However, the public does not know what happened with these investigations, and Dr. Archibald ultimately passed away in 2007 without having to answer for the numerous allegations of sexual abuse.
Recent changes in New York law, as promoted by Governor Cuomo, may help Dr. Archibald’s sexual abuse victims seek retribution from Rockefeller University Hospital in court. Because the alleged sexual abuse happened many decades ago, the statute of limitations period for filing criminal charges and civil lawsuits has expired. However, changes to New York law may help these victims pursue legal action against Rockefeller University Hospital, holding the Hospital accountable for not taking necessary steps to stop Dr. Archibald’s sexually abusive behavior and report him, early on, to the authorities. While Rockefeller University Hospital is taking the position that it did not know about Dr. Archibald’s behavior going back four decades, many people, including Dr. Archibald’s patients, are not buying it. As such, it will not be surprising to see a significant influx of lawsuits filed by sexual abuse victims against Rockefeller University Hospital in the coming months.
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