Medical Patient Modesty - a non-profit organization to improve patient modesty in medical settings


Non-Consensual Pelvic and Genital Exams

Many people are unaware that sometimes medical students and doctors do pelvic and genital exams on unconscious patients without their consent especially in some teaching hospitals. There was even a case of a female ENT doctor who did genital exams on male patients under anesthesia without their knowledge. This is a big invasion of patient's privacy and it is a form of medical rape. It is hard to believe that this happens. Fortunately, a few medical students have refused to do the pelvic exams on women without their consent because they understand it's unethical.

Medical students should only do pelvic exams on women who have given consent or mannequins. The truth is many doctors such as podiatrists, neurologists, and cardiologists won't be doing any pelvic exams on women later on anyway so there's no sense in why they should have to do pelvic exams on real women in medical schools anyway. They could do pelvic exams on mannequins and medical training simulators. Patients under anesthesia who have intimate procedures done on them without consent are treated as lab rats and we need to fight to end this horrible practice. It is unethical to do pelvic or genital exams on patients under anesthesia without their consent. Other problems with non-consensual pelvic exams are the possibilities of injuries to the cervix at the hands of some of the clumsier students and the risk of infection or the possibility of internal injuries due to the slip of an instrument.

The scary thing is that women who have had gynecological surgeries such as hysterectomy, ovarian cyst removal, etc. especially at a teaching hospital in the past may have had some pelvic exams done on them by medical students, residents, or another doctor without their knowledge and consent. A non-consensual pelvic or genital exam done on patients under anesthesia is not treating them with respect and dignity.

You need to be firm about your wishes before you have surgery and have it in writing. Do research on the hospital you are going to have your surgery at. Find out if they have any medical students or residents who may participate in your surgery. It would be best if you didn't have your surgery at a VA hospital if possible. Sadly, many VA hospitals have participated in ghost surgeries (letting a resident or someone other than the doctor who is supposed to perform the surgery) or non-consensual exams on patients without their consent.

You can find some links to articles that discuss non-consensual exams below. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information in each link. Always keep in mind that sometimes the media exaggerates certain information.

Some Articles Regarding Non-Consensual Exams & Procedures:

Not Just Non-Consensual Pelvic Exams: The Need for Expressed Consent for All Intimate Tasks for Elective Procedures

Pelvic Exams without Consent: Medical Malpractice Suit?

Students Perform Pelvic Exams Without Consent

Conversations We Shouldn’t Still Be Having: Pelvic Exams Under Anesthesia

Using tort law to secure patient dignity

A Female ENT Doctor Was Accused of Doing Non-Consensual Genital Exams on Male Patients Under Anesthesia



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