A 50-state examination by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution found that only one — Delaware — has anything close to a comprehensive set of laws protecting patients from doctors who commit acts of sexual abuse.

The newspaper studied five categories of laws in every state to determine the best and worst at shielding patients from sexually abusive doctors (http://doctors.ajc.com/states/ ).

Not a single state met the highest bar in every category the newspaper examined, although Delaware came the closest. The newspaper found that in 49 states and the District of Columbia, multiple gaps in laws can leave patients vulnerable to abusive physicians.

Trailing the nation, with scores below 50 out of 100 points in the newspaper's study, are Arkansas, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.