LANSING — In the wake of the sentencing trial against the disgraced Olympic doctor and former Michigan State University medical practitioner Larry Nassar, state Rep. Bettie Cook Scott (D-Detroit) has spoken out against Nassar’s abuse of his power as a medical professional.

“The bravery and strength exhibited by the young women and girls in confronting their abuser was inspirational, and I know the nation is proud of them for speaking out,” Scott said. “As we wade through the aftermath of Nassar’s sentencing and have difficult conversations about the realities of our culture, it is critical that we also consider how we will address the issue of medical professionals abusing their positions to abuse and harm their patients.”

During her second term in the Legislature in 2009, Scott introduced a bill to allow for disciplinary action against a medical professional if convicted of sexual criminal conduct. This would include those medical professionals that abuse their power and influence in the way that Nassar did for nearly over two decades. The bill at the time was passed out of the House with bipartisan support, but stalled in the Senate.

“Almost 10 years ago, I was in this same body working to begin the conversation to address medical professionals like Nassar that abuse their honorable positions, and here we are again having to address this same issue,” Scott said. “For any person to use their position of authority or influence to coerce a subordinate of any sort is absolutely disgraceful. We must learn our lesson now and have these important discussions so that we can protect patients from any future harm at the hands of healers.”