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


Pelvic Exam Consent Forms

It is encouraging that a number of states including Florida, New York, and Utah have passed laws requiring women to give consent for pelvic exams. The practice of women routinely given pelvic exams under anesthesia and without their specific consent has occurred for many years.

It is encouraging that Florida also recognizes the need for getting consent from male patients for genital and rectal exams.

However, we have concerns about the new pelvic consent forms. We feel these forms may still allow patients to be violated. Many pelvic exam consent forms do not give women the chance to decline medical students or male medical professionals. Also, many women may only want one doctor (their regular female gynecologist) to perform their pelvic exam.

Many pelvic exam consent forms are not patient centered. For example, this form is generalized: Pelvic Examinations Consent Form( asks the patient to agree to receive a pelvic exam by her doctor or healthcare provider, any medical student or any student receiving training as a health care practitioner.

Also, consent forms could be handed to female patients as they are being prepped for surgery, and drugged, making it more difficult for that patient to decline. Some medical facilities push patients to sign consent forms without really reading them.

We encourage all women not to sign generalized pelvic exam consent forms. Instead, make a customized form that indicates who SPECIFICALLY can perform any and all gynecological procedures (including pelvic exams) on you (ex: only female doctors and no medical students). Also, absolutely get a copy of whatever form you have signed.

For best practice, read, sign, and acknowledge any consent form(s) before a procedure while there is ample time to ask questions and relate concerns. Please have a witness with you. Please request a copy of all forms you have signed before a procedure takes place. You are your own best advocate.

Links To Check Out:

ACOG Statement on New Florida Law Requiring Written Consent for Pelvic Examinations | ACOG

Florida doctors say new pelvic consent law is too ambiguous |

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