Update on pelvic exam post

// 9 March 2007

Yesterday I blogged about this story of gynaecology students in the US being trained to perform exams on unconscious women who had not given their consent.

I asked a recently-qualified doctor friend of mine whether or not this happens in the UK and got this response, which is reassuring:

Def doesn’t happen here anymore. in my experience, when we did obs and gynae -the opportunity for a PV (vaginal) exam arose before pelvic operations, and we had to have written permission from the patient to do the PV exams (or at least documented verbal consent according to another doctor) . the staff (anaesthetist and nursing) were all very conscious of this and questioned anybody other than the surgeons who were about to perform one. no doubt it used to happen up until recently.

Although I have also had emails with reports of this happening in the recent past, so take what you will from that.

But back in the USA, reader Grace reminded me about this horrible story from Feministing.

A Portland anesthetist was found to be groping women after putting them under for surgery. But a court decided that the women he assaulted do not have a right to know what happened to them, on the spurious and highly paternalistic argument that it will put them off going to the doctor. In addition, the doctor has had his license suspended for just two years for this.

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