Friday, January 29, 2010

Um, WTF?

If anyone else were to do this they would be spending time behind bars. This is so bloody scary. It's times like this vagina dentata might come in handy.
Time to end pelvic exams done without consent

Imagine that you are undergoing a fairly routine surgery – say, removal of uterine fibroids or hysterectomy. During or right after the procedure, while you are still under anesthesia, a group of medical students parades into the operating room and they perform gynecological exams (unrelated to the surgery) without your knowledge.

Do you consider this okay, or an outrageous violation of your rights?

Regardless of your feelings, you should be aware that this is standard procedure in many Canadian teaching hospitals.

Medical students routinely practice doing internal pelvic examinations while surgery patients are unconscious, and without getting specific consent, at least in Canada.

Guidelines in the United States and Britain say specific consent is required but, by contrast,

Canadian guidelines state that pelvic examination by trainees is “implicit.”
The practice – one of those dirty little secrets of medicine – has been exposed in a thoughtful, professional manner by a young doctor.

Read the rest of the article here.




Kelli Rosa said...

OMG this is insane! =O

bek said...

Well...guess I was very wrong about Canada always seeming so right on! Way to dehumanise...

Not meaning to sound like I'm blaming them but I also can't believe it's taken this long for one of the student doctors to feel so uncomfortable about this that they felt compelled to speak out.

Hopefully now though, the ball's finally started rolling and things will soon change.

nefaeria said...

Kelli Rosa: That was pretty much my reaction when I first heard about it!

Bek: We as a country have a myriad of flaws, but in general I would think that we are pretty good.

As far as students not speaking out, personally I do in part blame them. If you take a boo at the comments where the article is by some so-called med students, many of the replies are callous at best.

The medical system is grooming them to carry on the 'doctor always knows best' tradition, which it seems some of them are willing to carry on.

But like you I am hopeful, mostly because some docs and students are speaking out against this. :)

Bek said...

Yes, I absolutely agree that by not speaking out this whole time, (or by coldly responding to the dehumanising so worryingly quickly by the sounds of the comments) the students are part of the problem.(I should have added 'wholeheartedly' when talking about blame before!)

And, again, you're absolutely spot on in my view, in calling this as part of the much bigger picture where doctor and big pharma know best and cure not prevention, i.e. good health.

It does seem to have shaken things up nicely though! Hope it's not quick to die back down!