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(adventhealth.com) 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:
Statement on New Florida Law Requiring Written Consent for Pelvic
Examinations | ACOG
doctors say new pelvic consent law is too ambiguous | firstcoastnews.com
About Pelvic Exams